The Century-Old Cocktail We’re Drinking Now Through Mardi Gras Day

Now through Mardi Gras day, The Bombay Club in New Orleans is serving a cocktail featuring Legendre Ojen, an iconic anise-flavored liqueur. Beloved by New Orleanians, especially during Carnival season, it has become the unofficial Krewe cocktail for the Rex Organization, and the drink used to toast the King of Carnival on Mardi Gras Day. Bar Manager Blake Kaiser will serve the Ojen Cocktail with a traditional French fève.

Ojen was first produced in the mid-1800s by a distiller in Spain. However, the production of the liqueur ended when the distillery closed its doors in the late 1980’s.

“Ojen gained popularity in New Orleans at the beginning of the last century, and over time became the standby cocktail, especially during Carnival season,” said Blake. “In fact, some believed that New Orleans’ consumption of Ojen surpassed that of all of Spain, and considering that New Orleanians like a good drink every now and then, I’d believe it.”

The Sazerac Company revived the classic cocktail with a new production here in the United States in early 2016.

Similar to the popular king cake baby of New Orleans, the fève is a porcelain trinket traditionally placed inside of a king cake. The lucky finder of the fève becomes “king (or queen) for the day” and is obliged to provide the next king cake, or in this case—the next round of Ojen Cocktails. The Bombay Club fèves are musically themed figurines, and a full collection makes up a ten-piece jazz band.

“We just thought this was a fun way to celebrate our favorite holiday in New Orleans,” said Blake. “If you get all ten, it’s a great collection, and it’s a unique souvenir by which to remember carnival 2017.”

Ojen Cocktail
Yields: 1
  • 2 ounces Legendre Ojen
  • 7 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • ½ ounce Orgeat or Simple Syrup
  1. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Pour Ojen over the ice and add four dashes of Peychaud's bitters, then swizzle. Fill with more crushed ice and top with three more dashes of Peychaud's. Swizzle until the glass frosts.
*Please note that this recipe was submitted and has not been tested by the Louisiana Cookin' test kitchen.


Photo courtesy of Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts.


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