The change of seasons always brings a change in appetites to our house. Grilled meats and veggies give way to soups and stews. Frozen treats like ice cream and homemade popsicles give way to apple crisp and chocolate tarts. Crisp gin and tonics give way to whiskey and bourbon. I grew up picking the maraschino cherries out of my father’s manhattans so I’ve always had a taste for the darker stuff. One of my favorite cocktails (and one we served at our December wedding) is the La Louisiane. Named after a hotel and creole restaurant dating back to 1881 in New Orleans, the La Louisiane fell off cocktails menus for decades following the ban on one of its ingredients: absinthe. The original recipe calls for equal parts rye whiskey, benedictine and sweet vermouth but I’ve tweaked the proportions a bit to suit my tastes. Feel free to do the same. Often served in a chilled coupe I’ve been serving them in our new Nate Cotterman glasses. You throw the whole glass is in freezer and the hand blown glass ball in the center acts as a giant ice cube that never melts. Perfect for this kind of drink. If you like manhattans or their kind give the La Louisiana a try. My father’s family is originally from New Orleans so maybe my taste for the drink is genetic but I think it is the perfect drink for a cool fall night spent by the fire.
2 oz rye whiskey
1/2 oz benedictine
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
3 dashes peychaud’s bitters
3 dashes absinthe
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir until well chilled.
Strain into a chilled class or coupe and garnish with luxardo cherries.