There’s something so nostalgic about holiday cocktails. When the weather starts cooling off and we begin gathering with family and friends to celebrate the season, there’s nothing more sentimental than a warm mug that features the flavors, and in turn, memories, of holidays past.
Cocktails are an important part of Louisiana’s culture throughout the year, but they’re extra special during this season of twinkling lights and fuzzy sweaters.
Louisianians drink differently once winter arrives. Tall, icy concoctions give way to more spirit-forward slow sippers, and mixologists across the state are prepared to meet the demand, each putting their unique spin on holiday classics and giving them a distinctly local flair. From spicy eggnogs to comforting hot toddies, they craft taste memories and help put us in a festive spirit.
In true Louisiana fashion, no special occasion comes without a special libation. We set out on a mission to find the most requested holiday cocktails across the Bayou State, from new ways with milk punch to tasty Irish coffees to an authentic Café Brûlot.
Whether you’re touring the Holiday Trail of Lights in North Louisiana or catching a romantic carriage ride through the French Quarter, these cheery potions are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. So bundle up, grab your loved ones, and get ready for some merrymaking. Joyeux Noël, Louisiana.
Doe’s Eat Place in Baton Rouge is known for its Mississippi Delta hot tamales, but during the Christmas season, the restaurant’s bartenders bring another regional specialty to the table: the hot toddy. Chef, mixologist, and cocktail history euthusiast George Krause began serving the hot toddy on a winter menu, and it became wildly popular.
“The recipe I use is actually based on the original punches,” says George. “A ‘toddy’ is just a small punch. The term ‘punch’ is based on the Hindi word for five, as the original recipe contained five ingredients.”
Today George’s recipe still contains just the right mixture of honey, fresh lemon juice, hot water, scotch, and fresh grated nutmeg. The spicy concoction continues to lure Baton Rouge’s savvy drinkers and offers a comforting cure for whatever ails you.