The Hotel Monteleone can claim creation of a classic New Orleans cocktail, the Vieux Carre. It was first introduced at the hotel’s famous Carousel Bar by head bartender Walter Bergeron in the 1930s. “He originated it, he says, to do honor to the famed Vieux Carre, that part of New Orleans where the antique shops and the iron lace balconies give sightseers a glimpse into the romance of another day,” Stanley Clisby Arthur wrote in his 1937 book “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em.”
Over the next few weeks we’ll explore the history of some (to borrow the title of Stanley Clisby Arthur’s 1937 book) “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em.”
The drink is made with rye whiskey, cognac, Italian vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters and Benedictine liqueur. It remains the bar’s signature cocktail.
An even older New Orleans drink is the Ramos gin fizz, created by Henry C. Ramos in 1888. Ramos, whose 1928 obituary referred to him as “Carl,” popularized the drink at his Imperial Cabinet saloon at Gravier and Carondelet streets. “Here it was that Henry Ramos served the gin fizz that departed so radically from the other frothy gin mixtures served in New Orleans saloons,” Arthur wrote.
His recipe explains that the drink is made by vigorously shaking dry gin, orange flower water, lime and lemon juice, an egg white, milk or cream, seltzer water, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. After Prohibition ended, the Roosevelt Hotel bought the rights to the Ramos recipe and it became a signature cocktail at the hotel, where it was Gov. Huey P. Long’s favorite drink.
One mayor of the city has a street named after him and shares his name with a classic cocktail. As we continue our look at some uniquely New O…
We wrap up our look at some classic New Orleans cocktails with two that originated at French Quarter landmarks: the hurricane and the grasshopper.