Mardi Gras cocktails are all about adding a splash of festive spirit to your celebrations. These vibrant and flavorful concoctions are inspired by the joyous and colorful traditions of Mardi Gras, making them perfect for anyone looking to infuse their gatherings with a touch of New Orleans flair. Whether you’re hosting a lively Mardi Gras party or simply want to indulge in some festive sipping, these cocktails are sure to add a fun and flavorful twist to your festivities.
With their bold colors, lively flavors, and playful garnishes, Mardi Gras cocktails are ideal for those who love to embrace the festive spirit and enjoy a bit of creative mixology. From classic recipes with a vibrant twist to innovative concoctions that capture the essence of the carnival season, these cocktails are perfect for anyone who wants to raise a glass to the spirit of Mardi Gras.
This drink is synonymous with New Orleans, founded in the early 1800s and inspired by New Orleans apothecary Antoine Peychaud. Peychaud invented a famous brandy bitter known as Peychaud’s bitters, which inspired this classic cocktail. Consisting of rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, anise liqueur, and a sugar cube, this cocktail is a bold blend of herbaceous, smokey, and sweet flavors.
Another classic cocktail, the French 75 is a light and refreshing champagne and gin cocktail. It blends lemon juice and simple syrup with the gin in a cocktail shaker for a lovely trifecta of acidity, sweetness, and botanics. The champagne topper brings a refreshing bubbly and dry finish.
The Hurricane is another New Orleans classic, invented in the prohibition era speakeasy Pat O’Brien's. This cocktail was once a simple rum cocktail that has since been embellished with even more rum among other ingredients to get the party started. It’s certainly a tropical storm of a cocktail, consisting of light and dark rum, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, and grenadine to name a few.
While this may be a Kentucky-born cocktail, its fresh and herbal ingredients are a great way to welcome the early spring Mardi Gras celebrations. All you need is mint, sugar, and bourbon. Muddling mint with simple syrup helps to infuse the smoky bourbon with fresh mint flavors. No shakers are necessary for this cocktail, either!
Just as famous as the Saczerac or Hurricane, Ramos GIn Fizz is another iconic New Orleans-born cocktail invented in 1888 by bartender Henry Carlos Ramos. This delicious and complex gin fizz requires some effort and finesse. The mixture of soda, heavy cream, and egg white with citrus and gin makes the term “fizz” an understatement!
The ultimate day drinker’s cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup is a proper English drinking tradition dating to mid-19th-century London. Named for the mid-proof gin liqueur Pimms No. 1, this cocktail is perfect in its simplicity. Gin, lemon juice, and ginger beer offer botanical, zesty, and spicy flavor notes. You can get creative with the garnishes, adding any number of your favorite fruit wheels.
There’s no better way to entertain a large Mardi Gras celebration than with an extra boozy and tasty punch bowl. This Fat Tuesday Punch bowl is an elaborate rendition of the classic Hurricane, consisting of light and dark rum, various citrus concentrates, and passion fruit juice. The colorful blood orange, maraschino cherry, and other citrus wheel garnishes bring a colorful and festive presentation.
Jellow shots may sound simple, but this King Cake-colored, layered jello shot recipe may be the most elaborate and extravagant recipe on the list. If you’re up for a challenge, this recipe requires you to make three layers of jello and alcohol, each with a vodka base and a fruity liqueur or concentrate to give it its purple-yellow-green colors.
A lesser-known New Orleans-born cocktail, the Brandy Crusta is a brandy-based cocktail that blends citrusy orange curacao, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice for a sweet and zesty flavor profile. The Brandy Crusta gets added sweetness from simple syrup, but you can always opt-out if you want to honor the tarter original recipe.
True to its name, this bright blue rendition of a rum-based Hurricane gets its hue from the orange-flavored blue curacao liqueur. Instead of passion fruit, this cocktail calls for a trifecta of orange, lime, and pineapple juices. This recipe makes two blue cocktails to ring in your Mardi Gras with your favorite partner in crime.
The King Cake is an essential Mardi Gras dessert, and this King Cake Cocktail perfectly emulates an alcoholic liquid form of it. Blending vanilla and cake-flavored vodkas with cinnamon schnapps with grape juice and sprite, this cocktail even looks like the glittery King Cake topping. It’s sweet and luscious with a spicy kick from the cinnamon and a rich, bubbly finish.
Blending the festivities of Mexican fiestas with the New Orleans carnival, the Mardi Gras Rita is a colorful, layered, frozen tequila margarita. Each layer uses the classic triple sec, lime, and tequila combo to blend with frozen fruits that supply the classic purple, yellow, and green colors of Mardi Gras.
This dainty and elegant gin cocktail blends elderflower liqueur, gin, and Lillet blanc for a super botanical flavor profile. The lemon juice and berry-flavored soda water add a nice fruity tang to complete this utterly spring-inspired mixed drink. If you want to add more alcohol and a smoky finish, you can always pour in a splash of bourbon.
An ode to New Orleans cocktails and New Orleans culture this Cajun Storm Cocktail is a Cajun-inspired twist on the classic Hurricane. Instead of using white and dark rum, the Cajun Storm Cocktail uses Cajun Spiced Rum and New Orleans white rum with the classic passion fruit, lemon, and grenadine trio.
This Mardi Gras cocktail comes compliments of the famed celebrity New Orleans-born chef Emeril Lagasse. It’s a delicious and sumptuous blend of vanilla vodka, coconut syrup, lime juice, and pineapple juice. It tastes like a tropical pina colada, with a bubbly finish from Champagne. The vanilla adds extra richness, and the champagne bubbles add a celebratory texture.
After a wild night of Mardi Gras celebrations, there’s no better way to recover than with a boozy Mardi Gras brunch cocktail like this Hurricane Mimosa. This recipe makes a pitcher’s worth of mixed drinks that combine the classic mimosa with the classic Hurricane recipe. It’s much boozier than your standard mimosa, thanks to the addition of white and dark rum.
This delightfully boozy, fruity, and spicy rum punch recipe has a dark rum and cognac foundation for a top-shelf party cocktail. This rum punch gets fruity orange liqueur and spicy ginger beer that stand up to the complex flavors of aged rum and cognac.
Wine lovers rejoice because this is a cocktail for you! The Bacchanalian is a New Orleans invention and a brandy twist on the classic whiskey sour. It blends merlot and cognac with lemon juice and agave nectar. This is a unique and rich cocktail that you can use to showcase your favorite red wine.
This ultra-refreshing and elegant cocktail is a gin and cucumber cocktail invented in the heart of New Orleans French Quarter at an iconic hotel called The Hotel Monteleone. Muddled cucumber, lime juice, gin, and St. Germain makes for a botanical and zesty one-shaker recipe. Ginger beer tops it all off and gives it a spicy and bubbly finish.
The key to this cocktail’s creativity is the homemade Kings Cake simple syrup, featuring chopped pecans, cinnamon, and lemon juice. This spicy, nutty simple syrup will take your average rum-based Daiquiri to the next level. Rum is a rich spirit that pairs perfectly with spiced simple syrup.