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Mardi Gras will be celebrated this year on March 8, 2011. And you don’t have to be in New Orleans to get in the spirit – these drinks will help! Here are the top 3 traditional Mardi Gras cocktails, some of which have been around since the 1800s!

New Orleans Fizz (or Ramos Gin Fizz)

1 1/2 oz gin

1/2 oz lime juice

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 1/4 oz simple syrup

2 oz milk, half & half or cream

1 small egg white

2 dashes fleurs d’orange (orange flower water)

club soda

1. Place all of the ingredients except the club soda into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

2. Shake vigorously (more than normal to ensure the egg and cream are well mixed).

3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.

4. Top with club soda.

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Hurricane

2 oz light rum

2 oz dark rum

2 oz passion fruit juice

1 oz orange juice

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp simple syrup

1 Tbsp grenadine

orange slice and cherry for garnish

1. Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice.

2. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.

3. Shake well.

4. Strain into a hurricane glass.

5. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

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Sazerac

2 oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Bourbon

1/4 teaspoon Absinthe (or substitute such as Pernod, Herbsaint or Anisette)

1 tablespoon simple syrup (or sugar cube)

Dash of Peychaud’s bitters

Lemon twist

1. Chill an old-fashioned glass by filling it with ice and letting it sit while preparing the rest of the drink.

2. In a separate mixing glass, muddle the simple syrup and Peychaud bitters together.

3. Add the rye whiskey and ice to the bitters mixture and stir.

4. Discard the ice in the chilled glass and rinse it with absinthe (or substitute) by pouring a small amount into the glass, swirling it around and discarding the liquid.

5. Strain the whiskey mixture from the mixing glass into the old fashioned glass.

6. Garnish with a lemon twist. Traditionalists will say that the lemon twist should be squeezed over the drink to release its essences but that the twist should not be dropped into the glass itself.

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