Ten Famous New Orleans Cocktails Perfect for a Southern Wedding


Whether there’s a cash or open bar, every New Orleans wedding guest indulges in a classic cocktail or two — or three or four. It’s hard to resist a drink in the city that the Sazerac, Hurricane, and Creole Bloody Mary call home. Everything from New Orleans is laced with history, tradition, and Southern hospitality, and the cocktails are no different. Wedding receptions of any size can embrace New Orleans culture by incorporating a few classic cocktails on the drink menu.

The Brandy Milk Punch

A Brandy Milk Punch pairs well with holiday weddings. Brandy, whole milk, powdered sugar, and freshly grated nutmeg make a sweet treat in libation form. The spicy, decadent drink is a New Orleans classic that packs a punch.

The Sazerac

The first American cocktail, the Sazerac, is perfect for couples looking to add tradition and sophistication to their wedding reception drink menus. Rye whiskey, absinthe, sugar, and Peychaud’s bitters combine harmoniously to craft a smooth and tasteful drink. This delightful concoction is served in an Old Fashioned glass with a lemon twist on the rim.

The Absinthe Frappe

Summer weddings are rare in the South, but an Absinthe Frappe is the perfect choice when they do occur. Mint leaves, Absinthe, simple syrup, and soda water are blended with crushed ice to create a strong and cooling drink.

The Pimm’s Cup

A lighter beverage with a low alcohol content, like Pimm’s Cup, is perfect for wedding reception drink menus. The elixir contains Pimm’s No. 1, lemonade, seven up, and is garnished with cucumber. Pimm’s Cup is refreshing and classically New Orleans.

The French 75

Add New Orleans charm to a wedding toast by replacing the champagne with a bubbly French 75. Although not invented in New Orleans, the French 75 was perfected by the historic restaurant Arnaud’s. Gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne make a simple yet satisfying beverage for any wedding celebration.

The Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a stimulating libation perfect for wedding receptions, especially in warmer months. As its namesake suggests, the Mint Julep contains mint paired with powdered sugar, water, and bourbon. The refreshing drink is garnished with fresh sprigs of mint and served on finely crushed ice.

The Ramos Gin Fizz

Add the Ramos Gin Fizz to the drink menu for a floral and zesty flair. The New Orleans original cocktail is known for its peculiar ingredients. Gin, lime juice, sugar, egg whites, heavy cream, and orange flower water are skillfully mixed and served in a highball glass.

The Hurricane

There’s only one New Orleans drink as sweet as newlywed love — the Hurricane. Pat O’Brien’s invented the cocktail by combining dark rum, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, and grenadine. The hurricane-shaped glass gives it its name, and the cherry and orange slice garnish adds a vibrant touch.

The Vieux Carré

Couples with French Quarter weddings can pay homage to the neighborhood by adding the Vieux Carré to the drink menu. A combination of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and Peychaud’s bitters create a flavor as rich as the Vieux Carré.

The Creole Bloody Mary

The Creole Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail and a tasty snack in a glass. Although traditionally served as a breakfast libation, the Creole Bloody Mary is a spicy addition to any wedding drink menu. The drink includes vodka, tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco hot sauce, celery salt, and black pepper. A Creole Bloody Mary isn’t complete without extravagant toppings, usually a type of meat, pickled veggies, and a celery stalk.

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