It’s time to party. To rage. Seriously, the two-month-long Mardi Gras season comes to a joyous conclusion in just a few days.
As you read these words, revelers in New Orleans are adding last-minute touches to their floats, finishing their outlandish costumes and saving prime viewing spots along parade routes. But it wouldn’t be a proper Mardi Gras without a well-made cocktail close at hand.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be in NOLA to take part in the festivities. To find out what locals drink, we consulted with Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, co-owners of Café Adelaide near the French Quarter, and their talented bar chef, Lu Brow. Classic Brandy Milk Punch was at the top of their list, as well as the cognac-and-crème de menthe Stinger.
And a few blocks away at The Ritz-Carlton, a “recovery concierge” offers club level guests a fortifying Bayou Bloody Mary. The Creole-inspired concoction is garnished with spicy pickled string beans, olives and, naturally, crawfish tails.
The holiday, of course, is celebrated not only on Bourbon Street but also in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The city’s Carnaval is legendary, with a sea of colorfully dressed samba dancers filling the avenues. To get into the spirit, put on some bossa nova and mix up the Hot in Rio (pictured above), which features the country’s national liquor, cachaça.
But remember, your Mardi Gras bash has to end by 12 o’clock Tuesday night.