JOIN THE BRANDY BAR + COCKTAILS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 7TH to celebrate this ancient festival. We will be offering some of those traditional old fashioned New Orleans cocktails that include:
Bayou Cocktail – Brandy, peach juice, lime juice
Crux – Brandy, Dubonnet, Cointreau, lemon juice. Crux is a small constellation in the southern sky, sometimes called the Southern Cross, and is part of the Crux constellation Centaurus.
Deauville Cocktail – Brandy, Calvados, Cointreau, lemon juice
Grasshopper (not the virgin type) – Brandy, crème de menthe, white crème de cacao, light cream. If you like Thin Mints or Peppermint Patties, this cocktail is one you should try. It makes a heavenly dessert drink, perfect for after dinner.
Hurricane Cocktail – Brandy, Passion fruit juice, lime juice.
Since New Orleans likes fruit so well we are also offering a one–half price special on our fruit flight – a Tasting of (4) 1/2 oz pours of fruit or infused brandies.
A brief history of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility. When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
The first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near present-day New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed their landing spot Point du Mardi Gras.
In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.
In 1837 the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day. And in 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city.