Even if you aren't in New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year, you can still dream or plan ahead for next year! We've found five fantastic Airbnb rentals that boast competitive pricing, prime locations, and — most importantly — style, no matter what time of year.
Get your beads out, tomorrow's Mardi Gras! But while Fat Tuesday is a day away, Carnival events, parades, and other celebrations have already been in full swing around the world. Scantily clad ladies have been showing off their moves in Brazil, Italians have gone all out with their traditional garb, and German revelers have dressed as everything from Smurfs to Pippi Longstocking. See the international women adding spirit and sex appeal to Mardi Gras now!
If you're hosting a Mardi Gras brunch, there's only one drink to serve, and no, it's not a bloody Mary, it's a Ramos gin fizz. However, if your soirée is after dark, you've got to make a huge round of hurricanes! This classic recipe comes from Dale DeGroff and features two kinds of rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and passion fruit nectar. To batch it, multiply the ingredient amounts by the number of people who will attend your party. For those who don't have time to make a libation from scratch, I recommend ordering hurricane mixer from Pat O'Brien's; it's the bar in New Orleans that made the hurricane famous.
To see my favorite recipe, keep reading.
Fat Tuesday is tomorrow, and even if you're not in New Orleans to ring in Mardi Gras, you can still celebrate with a tipple that enjoys the title of the city's official cocktail. The sazerac, which dates back to pre-Civil War times, has been around so long that it's rumored to be America's oldest cocktail — and there's a reason why. Watch the video, then make our recipe, which adds ice for a refreshing touch; we guarantee this aromatic drink will please any spirit-forward cocktail enthusiast.
It's called Fat Tuesday for a reason; Mardi Gras celebrations are known for being over-the-top indulgent, but if that's not your style, not to worry — you can still enjoy all the flavors of New Orleans without all the calories. In honor of Tuesday's celebration, we've put together a menu of healthier versions of classic New Orleans and Southern dishes. Read on for the recipes!
New Orleans cuisine: boy, it may have a richly-colored heritage, but unless you're from around there, it sure can be confusing. Not only is it hard to keep track of which dishes are Cajun and which ones are Creole, but those rice dishes can be pretty tough to keep straight! So gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée: what's the difference, anyway?
Think of jambalaya as a distant relative of paella. It's got protein and vegetables (sometimes tomatoes, sometimes not), with rice and stock later simmered together or combined before serving. In contrast, gumbo — a mix of vegetables and meat or shellfish with thickened stock — is thinner and served as a soup alongside rice that's cooked separately.
Different from gumbo (which is considered a soup), étouffée's a main course, made of one type of shellfish (crawfish or shrimp, for instance) that's been smothered in a thick sauce and sometimes served ladled over rice. Don't confuse any of these, of course, with the city's historic Monday favorite: red beans and rice. Got all that?
Happy almost Mardi Gras! Feast on New Orleans favorites far beyond Fat Tuesday by stocking your kitchen with these local food favorites. Online you can find a surprising number of New Orleans delicacies — from hot sauce and seasoning blends to beignets and café au laits — and they're ready to be shipped straight to your belly. Check out my 10 favorite New Orleans food essentials to fill the pantry.
Bourbon Street on Feb. 12 isn't necessarily the most family-friendly destination, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate Mardi Gras with your kiddos in the comfort of your own home. Get your little ones in the Mardi Gras spirit with these six crafty, yummy, and fun ways to celebrate. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Combine two Mardi Gras traditions into one cup: king cake and bourbon. This bevvy, or alcoholic beverage, is essentially a bourbon-vanilla milkshake. Cinnamon, almond, orange, and creamy vanilla are the main flavors, inspired by king cakes, or a ring-shaped cake eaten during Mardi Gras that is covered in white glaze and garnished with purple, yellow, and green sprinkles. Can you see the resemblance in this cocktail?
If you're wondering what's the deal with the little plastic baby garnish, it's a Southern/Gulf Coast tradition that a tiny plastic baby is inserted into the king cake for tasters to find it. Whoever does has good luck for the year and must host the next party.
Here's an inspired idea: if you plan to make a large batch of this cocktail for friends, say, using one gallon of ice cream, then pour the cocktail in a large pitcher and stir the plastic baby into the pitcher, so one lucky imbiber will end up with the baby in his or her glass. Just be sure to warn friends beforehand that there might be a plastic object in the glass, and encourage them to use straws to prevent any accidental swallowing!
- Drinks, Cocktails
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1-3/4 ounce bourbon
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 ounce orange juice
Purple, yellow, and green sugar sprinkles, for garnish
Tiny plastic baby, for garnish
- Blend ice cream, bourbon, cinnamon, almond extract, and orange juice in a blender until smooth. Pour in a glass and garnish with sprinkles and plastic baby.
Makes 1 cocktail.
As we head into the weekend, it's time to turn our attention to the very important topic of brunch cocktails. Though a bloody mary or mimosa is the obvious choice, I find that a Ramos gin fizz functions as an excellent morning drink.
If you're a fan of fizzes, you'll find plenty of the gin-infused variety. This classic version, invented by New Orleans barkeep Harry Ramos in the late 1800s, uses orange flower water as a French twist. Though it sounds heavy, it's surprisingly refreshing and frothy. To get the recipe, read more