La Louisiane10

Cocktail a la Louisiane

La Louisiane

* 3/4 ounce rye
* 3/4 ounce Benedictine
* 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
* Dash of absinthe or substitute
* Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
* Maraschino cherry for garnish

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

The La Louisiane originated in New Orleans which is also where our Peychaud’s bitters come from, so I’ve kept with the theme by replacing the absinthe with Herbsaint, another liqueur from NOLA. Not having any Sazerac Rye on hand, I had to go with Rittenhouse, which will alter the profile a bit due to the higher alcohol content (100 proof versus the usual 80 or so).

The combination of flavors here is fantastic. I made this after coming home from the Great American Distillers Festival here in Portland. After sampling drinks made by some great bartenders all weekend I was in the mood for something complex, with multiple layers of flavor, and also a bit different from my usual fare. This was my first time trying this cocktail but I can already predict it going on heavy rotation.

This is another one from the Anvil drinks list, I’m surprised I hadn’t tried this earlier. I love everything in here and when I saw them all combined in a single cocktail, I new even before pouring a drop that we’d have a winner.

Bonus: Watch Robert Hess (aka Drinkboy) mix up a La Louisiane over at his online video show, The Cocktail Spirit.

Comments 10 Comments So Far

Will

I made one the other day (with a more or less similar recipe; equal parts of each), and found it WAY too sweet. My girlfriend thought it was too sweet also.

Kenn | kennwilson.com

Really? I didn’t find it too sweet at all, and I generally don’t like sweet drinks. What kind of vermouth did you use? There’s a lot of variation there and that may have had something to do with it.

Mark G

This has been my number one cocktail of choice since I discovered how well Benedictine and whisky go together earlier this year. I was just in Seattle at Tavern Law, a speakeasy-type place, where the bartender Kevin made me a La Louisiane that tasted so good I actually got a tear in my eye. One suggestion/variation is to forego the maraschino cherry garnish and use a spiral of orange peel instead. Also, rub the inside and outside rim of the glass with the orange peel before filling it. It’s a veritable bouqet with the scent and taste of the drink ingredients. This is by far my favorite drink. Now, if only bartenders would actually learn it and not look at me like I have three heads when I order it….

Kenn | kennwilson.com

Tavern Law is on my to-visit list so I’ll be sure to try one of these there.

Good tip on the orange peel. I’ll try that next time.

Sylvan | tastylibations.com

I’ve been meaning to make this one again and see if I can keep it from veering into ‘cough syrup’ territory. The Rittenhouse Bonded is a great first step, and definitely orange peel over the sweeter cherry. And Clisby calls for 3-4 dashes ea. of the Peychaud’s and absinthe…

Another similar drink you might want to tackle next is the Vieux Carré, which adds cognac and reduces the Bénédictine substantially.

Kenn | kennwilson.com

The Vieux Carré sounds good, I’ll have to try that one out.

I just had one of these at Clyde Common last night and it also came out very well balanced, without too much sweetness. I didn’t see what rye or vermouth they used, so can’t compare ingredients. No garnish.

Bryan Burkey | winoschool.com

I switch out the Benetictine for B&B. That takes care of the sweetness. I will try the orange.

Stew | stewellington.com

If this one’s going to be called La Louisiane, shouldn’t it be made with bourbon instead of rye? More sweetness, I know, but I’m already giving the rye version 5 out of 5 stars. Magnifique!

Kenn | kennwilson.com

Rye has a long history in New Orleans cocktails. See also the Vieux Carre and everyone’s favorite, the good ol’ Sazerac.

Stew

I suppose you’re right, although I associate bourbon with the south, Bourbon St, NOLA, etc. etc. The Frenchiness not withstanding.