Up Your Mardi Gras Game With These New Orleans-Themed Bitters
Cocktails and New Orleans are almost synonymous, especially when it comes to Mardi Gras season. Whether it's the sickly sweet hurricanes available on Bourbon Street or the classy Sazerac served up in bars, it's not a party in until you've got a mixed drink in hand.
If you're unable to make it to the Big Easy yourself during Mardi Gras, there's a simple way to get that New Orleans' spirit at home: Mix up a drink with El Guapo Bitters.
These small batch products are handmade in—where else—New Orleans and infused with the finest locally sourced ingredients. El Guapo Bitters was founded by bartender Scot Mattox, who wanted to make a small business out of his creative streak for mixing up homemade bitters and syrups. Nowadays, it's a full-fledged commercial operation, creating batches of bitters and syrups with unique flavors like Greek rose, or summer berries.
To infuse your next batch of cocktails with true Mardi Gras flavor, try our favorite trio of bitters below. From sweet to savory, these three have everything you need to get a taste of the Carnival:
Just a dash of this savory concoction will amp up any Bloody Mary. Balancing the flavors of tomato, onion, bell pepper, celery, and thyme, it adds a depth reminiscent of slow-cooked Creole gumbo. As a bonus, if you're not in the mood for cocktails, a splash of this in soup and marinades can make a world of difference.
The more sassy cousin of the bottle above, this crawfish-inspired variety packs a punch of heat. Drawing on flavors from a traditional Cajun boil, there are notes of bay, clove, allspice, pepper, anise, onion, and garlic. Use it to pep up a spicy martini, or sprinkle it into your next batch of marinara for a serious kick.
Chicory, a common coffee additive in Lousiana, is the co-star in these flavorful bitters. They also include locally roasted coffee and flavors like pecan and cinnamon. Use them in your next rum or bourbon cocktail, or add a tiny dash to your morning cup of coffee.