12 Festive Mardi Gras Cocktails Inspired by New Orleans

January 10, 2023 by

Jump to:

When spring breezes start to play in the leaves of the live oaks and magnolias that line the lively streets of New Orleans, it’s time to whip up Mardi Gras cocktails and let the festivities begin! If you can’t make it to southern Louisiana to join the celebrations in person, take your pick from our list of must-try Mardi Gras cocktail recipes to set the scene for a rollicking fais do-do, cher. 

1. Sazerac cocktail

Close up top view of a Sazerac cocktail on a wooden platter, on a wooden table, with lots of natural light streaming in from the window behind.

This iconic Mardi Gras cocktail also happens to be one of the first cocktails ever invented! Essentially a celebration of rye whiskey, the Sazerac uses the sweetness of sugar and the complex notes of the bitters to build the cocktail and show off the character of the rye, so it’s essential to choose a good one. We love Wild Turkey Rye with its vanilla and spice notes, spicy citrus aroma, and long, supple finish. 

Learn more: Who Invented the Cocktail? Asked & Answered 

2. French 75 cocktail

Close up of two glasses of French 75 cocktail in Champagne flutes, presented on a slate grey surface, surrounded by lemon peels, a fresh lemon, a cocktail shaker, jigger & other cocktail making tools

If you’re on the lookout for cocktails for Mardi Gras that pack a bit of a punch, may we please introduce you to the iconic French 75? Named for a field gun used in WWII, this pretty cocktail has a fair amount of kick, but goes down a treat. It combines Bulldog Gin, Prosecco, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup to create a tasty Prohibition-era drink that never seems to go out of style.   

3. Hurricane cocktail

Hurricane Cocktail on a wooden board garnished with orange wedge and maraschino cherry

A true holiday resort classic, the Hurricane cocktail features a duo of iconic rums (we love using Wray & Nephew and Appleton Estate), mixed with fresh orange and passion fruit juice, a dash of simple syrup and grenadine, and a good squeeze of lime to bring it all together! Make sure you honour the name and pour it in a hurricane glass for all the island vibes.   

4. Clarified Milk Punch cocktail

Clarified Milk Punch in a clear tumbler, on a wooden surface, garnished with a lemon peel, with a lemon in the background

Clarified Milk Punch is a drink that requires a fair amount of prep – it includes 13 ingredients and takes three days to make! However, the result is a sweet, spicy, velvety-smooth drink that is 100% worth the effort. Plus, it has a super cool backstory. According to drink-related folklore, the recipe for Clarified Milk Punch was invented by a 17th-century female spy! 

5. Bloody Mary cocktail

Bloody Mary Cocktail garnished with celery, capers and olives

The Bloody Mary recipe will always remain a classic. Fair enough, the ingredients list for this Mardi Gras-inspired cocktail is pretty long – it contains SKYY vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pickle juice, salt, pepper, and paprika (optional)— but its assembly isn’t too finicky. You simply shake it up with ice (twice if you’re feeling fancy) and strain it into a glass. Garnish to the hilt, and serve! 

6. Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail

A creamy and delicious Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail in a Collins glass, presented on a wooden surface, flanked by a metal jigger

The extra-creamy cousin of the classic Gin Fizz, the Ramos Gin Fizz calls for 60ml gin, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml lime juice, 15ml sugar syrup, a few dashes of orange flower water, 30ml cream, 1 egg white and 60ml soda water. Add all the ingredients, apart from the club soda, to a cocktail shaker and dry shake for a full minute without ice. Then add ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a serving glass (we like a Collins) and top with soda water. 

7. Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail

Front view of two glasses of Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri presented on a white marble surface, surrounded by a bowl of ice and a bowl of popcorn

It’s officially happy hour with the sweet and refreshing Strawberry Daiquiri in the mix. Make it with fresh or frozen strawberries and with just enough citrus juice to kick the flavour up a notch. Remember that your Daiquiri is only as good as the rum you choose, so really invest in a high-quality spirit, like a bottle of Wray & Nephew. Double or triple the ingredients to make a batch ahead and you will never have to buy pre-mixed Daiquiri again! 

8. Vieux Carré cocktail

Vieux Carré Cocktail presented in a rocks glass over a large, circular piece of ice, garnished with a citrus peel, and placed on a wooden surface

As far as classic Mardi Gras cocktails go, you cannot go wrong with a Vieux Carré cocktail. The Manhattan-inspired drink takes its name from the French term for the French Quarter, which is the oldest part of New Orleans.  

This official IBA cocktail calls for 20ml rye whiskey, 20ml cognac, 20ml Cinzano Vermouth Rosso, a few dashes of bitters, and 15ml herbal liqueur. This is all combined in a mixing glass with ice, stirred well, strained into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnished with a cherry or a lemon twist. 

9. Bourbon Hot Toddy cocktail

Hot Toddy cocktail in a glas mug with sliced lemon and cinnamon stick

Made with Wild Turkey bourbon, lemon, sugar, spices, and boiling water, this classic Hot Toddy can be customised with your favourite alcohol and fruit flavours. It not only pays tribute to New Orleans’ most famous party centre, Bourbon Street, it’s also the perfect nightcap to serve when you have friends over for a Mardi Gras celebration.

10. Grasshopper cocktail

Creamy minty green Grasshopper Cocktails presented on a table covered in a green table cloth, party posed on a white serving platter on top of a slate grey placemat

Mardi Gras themed cocktails should have a bit of nostalgic flair, and the Grasshopper cocktail certainly scratches this itch. Essentially a creamy, boozy choc-mint milkshake, it is wonderfully easy to make, with just three ingredients: crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream. Ultra-indulgent and ever so dreamy.  

11. Rum Old Fashioned

Two sensational Rum Old Fashioned cocktails garnished with orange slices

The Old Fashioned is arguably one of the most suave sippers out there. The Rum Old Fashioned is a spiffy spinoff of the original, which turns it into a dapper rum and falernum cocktail. To make it, add 45ml Appleton Estate Rum, 10ml Trois Rivières rum, 10ml falernum, 30ml simple syrup, and a dash of bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir to combine and fine-strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. 

12. Brandy Milk Punch

A tumbler of Brandy Milk Cocktial set on a silver serving platter on a table with a white tablecloth, flanked by a silver jigger and a silver microplane grater with a piece of whole nutmeg

This tasty nightcap is one of the true stalwarts of the cocktail world. It dates back to at least the 1800s when brandy-and-rum punches were all the rage. To make one of these easy New Orleans sippers, add 60ml brandy, 30ml Appleton Estate rum, 120ml milk, and 30ml simple syrup to a cocktail shaker without ice. Next, add an egg white, a dash of vanilla extract, and ice, and shake very well, until frosty. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, garnish with a grating of fresh nutmeg and serve.

There you have it, 12 amazing Mardi Gras cocktails to try this year. Tag us in the Instagram pictures of your celebrations, and remember to sign up for our newsletter to receive more delicious inspiration articles delivered straight to your inbox.


The classic Sazerac cocktail is officially seen as the main drink of Mardi Gras, but other festive drinks like the Hurricane, Grasshopper and French 75 feature as well. Find a full list of must-try Mardi Gras cocktails on The Mixer.

You cannot go wrong with a Sazerac when you want to enjoy a classic Mardi Gras cocktail – it's the oldest cocktail in the world, and was created in New Orleans. However, you could also consider a Vieux Carré or French 75 without straying off the thematic course. 

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is celebrated in New Orleans in February each year, in the lead-up to Lent. Celebrate with a classic Sazerac, Vieux Carré, French 75, or Hurricane cocktail. 

Stay in the mix

Sign up to our drinkspiration newsletter.