This deep, boozy number goes by other names, including La Louisiane and Cocktail à la Louisiane. And the recipe varies. Traditionally, it’s equal parts rye, Bénédictine and sweet vermouth—a simple ratio that can skew syrupy-sweet. In this version, from The PDT Cocktail Book, the amount of rye is upped to cut the saccharine notes. Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe add spicy and earthy notes, and blend the ingredients seamlessly.
As its French-inflected name hints, it’s a New Orleans creation. In his authoritative 1937 book Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em, Stanley Clisby Arthur notes that it was the Restaurant La Louisiane’s house cocktail, where it presumably paired well with the rich, sometimes fiery Creole cuisine.
Reprinted with permission from The PDT Cocktail Book © 2011 by Jim Meehan, Sterling Epicure an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.