4 NOLA-Inspired Cocktails for Your 'Brothers Take New Orleans' Watch Party
Get a taste of the Big Easy wherever you're watching the Scott brothers' latest HGTV challenge.
Between strolls through the French Quarter, deep dives in antique shops and artists’ markets, and — oh, right — floor-to-ceiling renovations of shotgun houses, Jonathan and Drew have earned themselves a drink or two in the Big Easy. It’s no accident that tonight’s episode of Brothers Take New Orleans wraps up over drinks at a jazz club. Here’s what the Crescent City looks like in a glass — and how you can taste a bit of New Orleans wherever you are.
The Court of Two Sisters
orange slice, for garnish
cherry, for garnish
At The Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans — home to the second French royal governor of Louisiana in 1726 and the site of Drew's triumph over Jonathan in their head-to-head kitchen challenge — courtyard guests relax with the Bayou Bash. This concoction features a traditional punch made with Southern Comfort (created in New Orleans in 1874) and fruit juice, then topped with red wine. Served over ice with an orange slice and a cherry, it makes a strong case for improving your next batch of sangria with a bit of smooth New Orleans liqueur.
lemon twist, for garnish
Head bartender Water Bergeron created the Vieux Carre ("Old Square," another name for the French Quarter) at New Orleans' Hotel Monteleone in the late '30s. With rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine and Angostura and Peychaud's bitters, it's the perfect order at the hotel’s historic Carousel Bar & Lounge. Want a nip of Old New Orleans and can’t make it to the French Quarter? Take a spin with the recipe (and hold on tight if you find yourself on a carousel afterward).
Arnaud's French 75
Herbsaint or Pernod liqueur
lemon twist, for garnish
As the Louisiana state legislature ruled in 2008, the Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans. Arnaud's French 75 — originally a "gentlemen-only" part of Arnaud's Restaurant, a French Quarter institution established nearly a century ago — suggests Old Overholt rye whiskey if you’d like to follow their recipe. Think of the Sazerac as the Vieux Carre's devilish great-grandfather, with some of the same notes and a hint of Herbsaint. It’s also America’s very first cocktail. (Antoine Peychaud invented it in the French Quarter in 1838.)
Chicago Bonus: Winter on the Equator
cold brew coffee
sweetened condensed milk
Bittercube Blackstrap bitters
cayenne pepper, for garnish
If you’re dreaming of a NOLA-classic Coffee and Chicory at Café Du Monde and happen to be in Chicago, head for Presidio where bartender Sam Lyden mixes up Winter on the Equator, possibly the greatest coffee shake of all time. He combines cold-brew coffee with chicory-and-coffee-bean-infused vodka, rum, sweetened condensed milk and Bittercube Blackstrap bitters, then strains and garnishes with cayenne.
"It’s not difficult to infuse vodka with chicory," Sam says. "You simply add two or three tablespoons of chicory tea to a standard 750-millileter bottle of vodka. Let this sit overnight, shaking it a couple of times, then strain through a fine tea strainer the next day.”
Chicory-infused spirits have all sorts of applications: “When using chicory in cocktails, infuse a booze of your choice or infuse a simple syrup the same way," Sam says. "Then follow your favorite drink recipes with your new chicory-infused booze for a different dimension of flavor.” Sam, you’ve all but planned our holiday-season home bartending for us.
JD, Jonathan, and Drew recharge at Café Du Monde, where the Coffee and Chicory is served au lait (half milk and half coffee). The chicory, or endive root, rounds dark-roasted coffee’s bitter edges—and its chocolate-like flavor is as classically Cajun as seafood gumbo.
Where better to soak up a bit of color for future projects—and loosen up Home Town’s Erin and Ben Napier, the judges for the bedroom-renovation phase of your competition—than at Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge? The eye-popping exterior comes courtesy of local artist Daniel Fuselier, and jazzman Kermit Ruffins plays the trumpet and plies the locals with speakeasy-worthy drinks within.
The Scott brothers and TODAY’s Hoda Kotb toast the end of the kitchen renovation challenge at The Court of Two Sisters, a French Quarter brunch institution. Let’s each take a moment to contemplate the coziness of kitchens we’ve known...and the majesty of the giant bowl of grits JD has all to himself.
How do you convince Hoda Kotb (who knows her way around a kitchen renovation: she took charge of one as a Mother’s Day gift to her mom last year) your design is the best? Drew casts an eye to the future, Jonathan puts a new spin on a classic look...and they both throw a bit of begging and pleading in for good measure.
Need a handmade gift, a bit of the French Quarter’s creative energy for an upcoming project, or, say, a pair of vintage mechanical horses with no apparent weight limit to ride with your twin brother? SecondLine Arts and Antiques has you covered.
The brothers prepare for their closeup on Decatur Street, a French Quarter thoroughfare that hugs the edge of the Mississippi River. The city hits a high of around 90 degrees in the late summer, and there’s no dry season in New Orleans—they should be in antiperspirant commercials, no?
Drew talks photography with pro lensman and south Louisiana local Cory James, who inspires him to set out on his own black-and-white image safari. (No word on whether or not he’s been inspired to grow a magnificent beard like Cory’s.)
Don't miss tonight's all-new Brothers Take New Orleans at 9|8c when Drew and Jonathan tackle their biggest shotgun challenge yet: two bedrooms and two bathrooms.