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New Orleans spirits makers share holiday cocktail recipes | Food and drink | Gambit Weekly

As we barrel toward the holiday party season, it’s time to dust off the bar cart and freshen up those home bartender skills. Who wouldn’t want to impress their friends with a great cocktail? Or, maybe, you just want to chill at home with a good drink. To help out, we asked a few New Orleans distillers and spirits makers for their favorite cocktail recipes. Check out recommendations below from Wetlands Sake, Happy Raptor, Atelier Vie and Steven Three Distilling Co.

Wetlands Sake

Despite the abundance of rice grown in Louisiana, it wasn’t until last year that the state had its own sake brewer. Wetlands Sake launched late last summer with a filtered and unfiltered version as well as sparkling versions in blood orange and passion fruit flavors. The canned drinks are available in local stores and restaurants, and Wetlands opened a taproom in February at its Lower Garden District space. The taproom has nine sakes on tap, including varieties infused with hibiscus, blueberry-lemon, mango-chili and more. There also are sake cocktails. The taproom hosts regular events such as live music, art markets, a recent tie-dye party and more. The taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday at 634 Orange St. Visit for information.

Sake Swizzle

2 oz. Filtered Wetlands Sake

1 oz. white rum

½ oz. Velvet Falernum

½ oz. lime juice

2 oz. pineapple juice

Egg white

Shake all ingredients together vigorously without ice, about one minute. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a glass.

Wetlands Sparkling Passion Fruit Gin Fizz.jpg

Wetlands Sake’s sake gin fizz

Sake Gin Fizz

2 oz. Wetlands Sparkling Passion Fruit Sake

1 oz. sloe gin

1 oz. gin

1 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake gins, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice until well chilled. Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with Sparkling Sake. Garnish with lemon.

Where New Orleans journalists, photographers, morning hosts and more drink around town.

Happy Raptor Marjie Miles

Happy Raptor’s Marjie Miles cocktail

Happy Raptor

Offering a Bananas Foster-flavored rum seems like a no brainer for a New Orleans rum distillery. But it’s the King Cake flavor that’s become the most popular seasonal release at Happy Raptor. Bottles won’t be available for pick-up until Carnival time, but the first day for pre-order is Black Friday. The distillery creates several rums, including classic clear rum as well as a hibiscus flavor. The taproom is a block off St. Charles Avenue at 1512 Carondelet St., and it hosts movie nights, Harry Potter trivia, karaoke and more. There’s a Taylor Swift birthday party on Dec. 10. Find more information at

Marjie Miles

2 oz. 504Hibiscus rum

1 oz. cranberry juice

1/2 oz. 504Syrups Hibiscus

3-4 dashes orange bitters

1 dash chocolate chili bitters

Orange peel

Cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel and cinnamon stick.

Happy Raptor Sleigh All Day

The Sleigh All Day at Happy Raptor

Sleigh All Day

2 oz. 504Bananas Foster rum

1 oz. 504Syrups Praline

1 oz. coconut cream

1 oz. lemon juice

5 dashes cane bitters

Pecan pieces

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with pecan pieces.

Recipes to impress friends and coffee table books to show off.

Atelier Vie Elf Special

Atelier Vie’s Elf Special cocktail

Atelier Vie

Earlier this year, Atelier Vie — which produces a range of spirits, including gin, whiskey, rum and absinthe along with occasional experimental special releases — released a bottled-in-bond edition of Riz, its Louisiana rice whiskey. The spirit earned a double gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the distillery picked up another gold medal for its Louisiana single malt whiskey. For this Christmas-themed cocktail recipe, though, Atelier Vie uses its Euphrosine Gin #9 barrel-finished reserve — also a 2018 World Spirits Competition gold medal winner. The distillery’s tasting room is open on the weekends and by special appointment during the week. Reservations must be made in advance by calling or texting (504) 534-8590 or online at

The Elf Special

1 1/2 oz. Atelier Vie Euphrosine Gin #9 Barrel-Finished Reserve

1/2 oz. Aperol*

1/4 oz. Lucano Gran Anniversario Amaro*

1 1/2 oz. ginger ale*

Mint leaves

Bar spoon of Atelier Vie Toulouse Red, Absinthe Rouge

Add several ice cubes to a cocktail tin. Pour the gin, Aperol, amaro and ginger ale over the ice and stir with a bar spoon. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Add a couple mint leaves and muddle them a bit in the cocktail glass to release the mint oils. Add a bar spoon of Toulouse Red on top and serve.

*Substitutions: In place of the Aperol, another orange liqueur may be used. In place of Lucano, another amaro can be used, or a smaller quantity of bitters. Ginger beer can be used in place of the ginger ale.

Mike Fruge spoke to Gambit about farming and distilling in Acadiana.

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Seven Three Distilling Co.’s Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned

Seven Three Distilling Co.

The distillery on N. Claiborne Avenue produces whiskey, vodka, gin, rum and moonshine using Louisiana-sourced ingredients and pays tribute to New Orleans neighborhoods with labels like Black Pearl rum, Bywater Bourbon and Gentilly gin. Seven Three Distilling is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for tastings and tours, and there’s a cocktail bar with seasonal punches and build-your-own flights available. Find more information at

Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned

2 oz. Bywater Bourbon

3/4 oz. Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup (see recipe below)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

2 dashes orange bitters

Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

Bring all ingredients to a simmer, whisking lightly. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and let cool. Refrigerate and enjoy.

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