Happy Hour Gets Happier As Bars Court The Carnival Cocktail Crowd
Coaxing a sip from a refreshing Carnival cocktail can be as tempting as catching a 96-inch strand of pearlescent beads along St. Charles Avenue.
Mardi Gras inspired thirst quenchers are getting infused with purple, green and gold at Windsor Court Hotel where Head Mixologist Kent Westmoreland’s seasonal libations include:
• Mardi Gras Mambo (Purple)
2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce Cassis
2 ounces pineapple
Shake and pour into chilled martini glass, garnish with three blue berries
• Wild Tchoupitoulas (Green)
2 ounces Midor
1 ounce vodka
2 ounces pineapple
Shake and pour into ice-filled rocks glass
• Hey Pocky Way (Gold)
1.5 ounce bourbon/ whiskey
.75 ounce lemon
.75 cinnamon syrup
Shake and pour into ice-filled rocks glass
Located on the ground level of Windsor Court, 300 Gravier St., Cocktail Bar offers beers, wines, classic, spirited cocktails, a menu of small plates and desserts and live music. Open Tuesday – Saturday, Happy Hour at Cocktail Bar runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Imbibing at Trinity Restaurant and Bar, 1117 Decatur St., touted as one of New Orleans’ best by Conde Nast Traveler and Opentable, means enjoying new happy hour intoxicants and savory tidbits Sunday – Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at a night owl happy hour.
Beverage Director Lexi Winston’s new signature potions include Eau de Fleuve – Cathead vodka, Licor 43, St. Germain and fresh muddled mint and cucumber; The Royal Tart – Fortaleza reposado, Frangelico, lemon and orgeat; and King’s Voodoo – Euphrosine #9 gin, lemon, ginger liqueur, sesame oil and Peychaud’s.
For early birds, guests can enjoy their choice of house white, red or sparkling wine as well as a featured wine of the week, Sunday – Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Executive Chef Michael Isolani will be serving up fried oysters with chili oyster sauce, scallions and bamboo shoots; grilled octopus and chickpea dip with pickled red onion, roasted red pepper oil and toast points; pommes frites with buttermilk aioli; crawfish and fontina beignets with tarragon aioli; frog leg tempura with ponzu sauce and cilantro; and smoked oysters with deviled eggs, horseradish and cajun caviar.
Every Sunday through Wednesday there are additional Happy Hour specials from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. featuring trios of boozy beverages including:
• Sunday Bloody Sunday
Holy Trinity – Trinity’s riff on the Classic Bloody Mary
Cosmic Maria – Tequila based Bloody Mary, rimmed with Trinity Chef's own Cosmic Cajun spice blend and garnished with a house-stuffed jalapeño
Smoked – Smoked Vodka based Bloody Mary, featuring Trinity’s house-made basil tomato water
• Martini Monday
Classique – City of London Gin or Cathead Vodka with a trinity of stuffed olives – garlic, bleu cheese, or crispy fried sausage
Urbane – Trinity's own take on the fashionable Cosmopolitan; vodka based featuring cherry liqueur
Martini of the Week – Rotating Classic Martini
• Tiki Tuesday
Mai Tai – Trinity’s version of a split base tiki staple
Trinity Tiki Punch – House-crafted punch with Wray & Nephew Rum and Pahcaran
Tiki Cocktail of the Week – Rotating Classic Tiki Drink
Compère Lapin, 535 Tchoupitoulas St., features a "Top Chef" and top-shelf drinks. Former Bravo TV's "Top Chef" runner-up and Fan Favorite Chef Nina Compton’s Warehouse District restaurant and bar, located in the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, was a Top 10 Winner of Playboy's Best New Bars in America 2016 that also ranked “Best New Restaurant” by The Times-Picayune and New Orleans Magazine.
Happy Hours are Monday – Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Head Bartender Abigail Gullo said, “Our cocktails are tailor made to ensure that our diners’ experience of eating and drinking are in complete harmony.”
Gullo’s drinks have been featured in The New York Times, Imbibe, Garden & Gun, In The Mix and Food & Wine among others, and she was named Eater New Orleans’ “Bartender of the Year” in 2014; winner of Heaven Hill Brand’s “Bartender of the Year” 2016; and winner of Tullimore Dew’s “Best Bartender Stories.”
Gullo’s progressive and forward-thinking potable philosophy combines classic techniques with seasonal flavors and contemporary trends, while staying true to New Orleans’ rich cocktail culture.
Her newest additions to Compère Lapin’s toast-worthy liquor menu include:
• Southpaw Swizzle featuring oloroso sherry, aged cachaça, honey and local citrus – from satsumas and kumquats to lemons, limes and grapefruit
• Gentleman Caller is a light aperitif cocktail consisting of Aperol, Fino sherry, Genepy and gin
• The Chin Music is an elegant combination of Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, ginger liqueur, absinthe and lemon topped with a sprig of fresh thyme
• The Louisville Slugger is a winter twist on the evergreen Old Fashioned, highlighting bourbon, split with a base of unaged apple brandy from Louisville, KY, chicory liqueur and smoked vanilla tea syrup, made in-house from smoky Lapsang Souchong tea and vanilla beans
• The Holy Trinidaiq combines winter baking spices with tropical flavors, paying homage to Chef Compton’s Caribbean background. A variation of a Trinidad Sour, the drink is a mixture of Coconut Rhum Agricole liqueur from Martinique and a full half-ounce of Angostura bitters with a splash of lime
• The Wry Smile combines rye, rhubarb, Sweet Vermouth, sherry and Grand Poppy, a bitter liqueur from California
• The Duchess Sighs is Gullo’s take on a French 75 with Armagnac, Amaro Averna and Grand Poppy, a California bitter liqueur, topped with bubbles and golden fennel
And new, in time for Mardi Gras, are two varied daiquiris, both paying homage to some of the Compère Lapin team’s favorite Mardi Gras krewes. A Muse Bouche is the refreshing passionfruit Mai Tai with rum, passionfruit, orgeat, an almond and rose-scented syrup, orange, dry Curaçao and Aperol, garnished with mint and edible gold glitter; and The Rolling Elvi is a dark rum concoction with banana, coconut, coffee and a peanut butter and chocolate garnish.