Louisiana Cocktail Recipe

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Louisiana 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 Louisiana cocktail is a classic New Orleans drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It was created by the famous bartender, Henry Ramos, at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. This cocktail is a favorite among jazz musicians and has been enjoyed by many famous figures throughout history, such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino.

  • The Louisiana cocktail is often associated with the vibrant culture and nightlife of New Orleans
  • It is a popular choice during Mardi Gras celebrations
  • The drink is also known as the 'Crescent City Cocktail' due to New Orleans' nickname

How Louisiana Tastes?

The Louisiana cocktail is a well-balanced mix of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. It has a smooth, velvety texture with a hint of warmth from the whiskey. The herbal notes from the vermouth and the bitters add complexity to the drink, making it a sophisticated and enjoyable sip.

Interesting facts about Louisiana

  • The Louisiana cocktail is sometimes compared to a Manhattan, but with a more complex flavor profile due to the addition of herbal liqueurs and bitters
  • The original recipe called for gum syrup, which is a sweetener made from sugar and gum arabic, but it can be substituted with simple syrup
  • The drink is traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass, which is said to enhance the aroma and flavor of the cocktail


Rye Whiskey

Used at 2oz, rye whiskey gives the drink its backbone, bringing a robust, spicy kick. Too much, and the whiskey overpowers the other ingredients; too little, and it's a vermouth heavy cocktail. Substitute bourbon for a sweeter twist.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

At 0.5oz, vermouth adds a hint of sweetness and depth. It's like the glue holding the flavors together. A different type of vermouth could make the cocktail drier or sweeter, depending on which one you pick.

Alex Green


A scant 0.25oz, this herbal liqueur adds layers of complexity. It's like the secret spice in your grandma's recipe – not overt, but something would be missing without it. Too much can make the drink too sweet and herbal.

Emma Rose

Peychaud's Bitters

Two dashes add a subtle fruity and floral undercurrent. This is the Louisiana fingerprint in our drink – unique and indispensable. Omitting it would lose the New Orleans vibe.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

One dash to add that extra layer of flavor complexity. It's the gentle whisper of spice that says 'something special is here'. If you skip it, the cocktail flattens a bit.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

The final touch! The oils released when twisting it over the drink add a fresh zing. It's like the sun on a Mardi Gras parade – not just a garnish but a necessary sparkle. Leaving it out would cause the drink to miss a refreshing top note.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Louisiana Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters, and Angostura bitters
  2. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well until chilled
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on the rim of the glass

Pro Tips

  • Stir the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined
  • Use a high-quality rye whiskey for the best flavor
  • Expressing the lemon oils over the drink before placing it on the rim of the glass enhances the citrus aroma and flavor

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: A classic Southern choice that pairs beautifully with the bright notes of the lemon twist.
  • Charcuterie Board: The spiciness of the rye can stand up to rich meats and cheeses.
  • Grilled Shrimp: The smokiness from the grill complements the aromatic bitters.

Main Courses

  • Blackened Fish: The strong flavors in the cocktail can balance spicy Cajun seasoning.
  • Cajun Jambalaya: Works well with the complex spicy and sweet notes of the Louisiana cocktail.
  • Roast Pork: The fat content in the pork is cut through by the acidity in the drink.


  • Bread pudding with Bourbon Sauce: The whiskey resonates with the bourbon element in the dessert.
  • Pecan Pie: The nutty and sweet components sync up with Benedictine's herbal sweetness.

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What you could change in Louisiana

  • Rye Whiskey: Can be substituted with Bourbon
  • Sweet Vermouth: Can be substituted with Dry Vermouth for a less sweet cocktail
  • Benedictine: Can be substituted with any herbal liqueur

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Honey Rye Twist

  • Add 0.5oz Honey Syrup
  • Replace Benedictine with 0.5oz of Amaro Sweet and herbal, honey syrup and Amaro offer a different kind of sweetness and depth to this Louisiana variation, complementing the rye whiskey in a new way.

The Bayou Citrus

  • Use Orange Bitters instead of Angostura
  • Add a splash of Orange Liqueur The citrus swap turns up the brightness and opens the door to a grove of new flavors. The orange bitters and liqueur offer a sunny, tangy twist to the classic.

The Spiced Apple Louisiana

  • Replace rye with apple brandy
  • Add a cinnamon stick as garnish A nod to apple orchards, this twist brings autumn into the mix. The apple brandy's fruity notes make it a cozy alternative, perfect for a chilly night on the porch.

In case you forgot basics how to make Louisiana

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 Louisiana

What is the ideal temperature to serve the Louisiana cocktail?

The Louisiana cocktail is best served chilled to balance the bold and complex flavors of the ingredients.

Is there any specific occasion to drink the Louisiana cocktail?

While the Louisiana cocktail is a popular choice during Mardi Gras celebrations, it can be enjoyed anytime you're in the mood for a delicious and sophisticated cocktail.

What are some other cocktails that are similar to the Louisiana cocktail?

The Manhattan and the Sazerac are two cocktails that share similar ingredients and flavor profiles with the Louisiana cocktail.

Is it typical for cocktails to use Peychaud's Bitters?

Peychaud's Bitters is a classic ingredient in many New Orleans cocktails, including the famous Sazerac. Its unique flavor profile helps balance other strong flavors.

Who was Henry Ramos?

Henry Ramos was a famous bartender from New Orleans known for creating several classic cocktails, including the Louisiana.

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