Creole Cocktail Recipe

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Creole Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Creole cocktail is a classic New Orleans drink that has been enjoyed for over a century. It was first created in the early 1900s by a bartender at the famous Sazerac Bar in New Orleans. The cocktail is a perfect representation of the city's rich culture, blending French, Spanish, and African influences into a unique and delicious drink.

  • The Creole cocktail is often enjoyed during Mardi Gras celebrations and other festive occasions in New Orleans.
  • It is said to have been a favorite of famous American playwright Tennessee Williams.

How Creole Tastes?

The Creole cocktail is a complex and well-balanced drink, with a sweet and fruity base, a hint of bitterness from the Campari, and a warm, spicy finish from the rye whiskey. It is both refreshing and invigorating, making it a perfect choice for a warm summer evening or a lively night out.

Interesting facts about Creole

  • The Creole cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Cousin of the Sazerac' due to its similar ingredients and origins.
  • The drink is named after the Creole people, a unique cultural group in Louisiana with a rich history and diverse heritage.
  • The Creole cocktail is often served in a rocks glass, but can also be enjoyed in a coupe or martini glass for a more elegant presentation.


Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey is the backbone of this cocktail, giving it a spicy and forward flavor. At 2 oz, it ensures the drink is spirit-forward, as any less would make the Campari and sweet vermouth take over, while more would overshadow the nuanced herbal flavors.

Emma Rose


Campari contributes a bitter and herbal profile which, at 0.5 oz, adds complexity without overpowering sweetness. Skip it and you're missing the classic bittersweet charm, and if you add too much, your drink will tilt towards the bitter side.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

At 0.5 oz, sweet vermouth balances the drink with herbal and sweet notes. Vermouth's role is to bridge the flavors, and too little leaves the cocktail disjointed, while too much sweetens the pot more than you need.

Mary Mitkina


The Benedictine, though just a splash at 0.25 oz, provides an undertone of honeyed herbal complexity. Without it, you lose a layer of flavor, and too much could make your cocktail taste more like a herbal medicine.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist

The lemon twist isn't just there for looks; it provides essential oils that brighten the drink. Don't miss out on this citrus zing, as it cuts through the drink's richness.

Alex Green

Garnish: Brandied Cherry

Finally, the brandied cherry garnish contributes a cherry on top (literally) for visual appeal and a sweet, boozy treat at the end.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Creole Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the rye whiskey, Campari, sweet vermouth, and Benedictine to the mixing glass.
  3. Stir the ingredients until well chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice or a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Express the lemon twist over the cocktail and discard or drop it into the glass.
  6. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Rye Whiskey: Use a high-quality rye whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Stirring: Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting the drink too much.
  • Lemon Twist: When expressing the lemon twist, make sure to do it over the glass to capture the essential oils.

Perfect Pairings

Meat Dishes

  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavors of rye whiskey and Campari complement the bold taste of a nicely charred steak.
  • Roasted Pork: The sweetness from the vermouth and Benedictine balances out the savory flavors of pork.


  • Aged Cheddar: The nutty flavors of the cheese pair well with the herbal undertones of the Benedictine.
  • Gorgonzola: The pungent flavor of the cheese contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the cocktail.


  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of rich, dark chocolate will go wonderfully with the bitter edge of Campari.

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What you could change in Creole

  • Rye Whiskey: Can be substituted with Bourbon.
  • Campari: Aperol can be used as a less bitter alternative.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry Vermouth can be used for a less sweet cocktail.
  • Benedictine: Can be replaced with a similar herbal liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Creole

Substitute the rye whiskey with an equal part of smoky Scotch whisky. This twist adds a layer of smokiness that pairs well with the herbal flavors.

Creole Spritz

Top the cocktail with sparkling wine after straining into the glass to add effervescence and lighten the flavor profile, providing a refreshing twist for warmer weather.

Herbal Creole

Add a sprig of thyme along with the lemon twist and use a dash of green Chartreuse in place of Benedictine for a more pronounced herbaceous kick. This would be appealing to those who enjoy a garden-fresh dimension in their cocktails.

In case you forgot basics how to make Creole

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Creole

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Creole cocktail?

Yes, you can create a non-alcoholic version of the Creole cocktail by substituting the rye whiskey and Campari with non-alcoholic alternatives. Instead of vermouth, you can use red grape juice mixed with a bit of apple cider vinegar.

Which cocktails are similar to the Creole cocktail?

The Sazerac cocktail is considered a cousin of the Creole, due to similar ingredients and origins. Other similar cocktails include the Negroni and the Old Fashioned, which also incorporate a balance of strong, sweet, and bitter flavors.

What is the right time to enjoy a Creole cocktail?

The Creole cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time. However, as it is a strong and flavorful cocktail, it could be best suited to evening social occasions, post dinner, or during cocktail hours.

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