Side Dish: Cocktails book looks at classics

“New Orleans Classic Cocktails” by Kit Wohl

Pelican Publishing Co., $16.95, 96-page hardcover

When a celebration calls for a cocktail, Kit Wohl suggests making one of New Orleans’ favorite cocktails.

In her ninth book, “New Orleans Classic Cocktails,” Wohl offers more than five dozen traditional and not so traditional recipes from the city’s mixologists and bartenders.

Savor a Sazerac from the Roosevelt Hotel’s Sazerac Bar, a Ramos Gin Fizz from the Old Absinthe House, an Old New Orleans Rum Hurricane and Commander’s Palace’s Brandy Milk Punch.

The book was first published in 2012, but Wohl was promoting the book in conjunction with the 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail, held in New Orleans July 16-20. Wohl not only wrote the book’s text, but took the full-color photographs illustrating each cocktail featured.

She opens the book with a brief history of the oldest known American cocktail, the Sazerac, which is credited to New Orleans pharmacist and French native Antoine Amédée Peychaud, who also concocted Peychaud’s bitters.

Wohl quickly moves into the recipes, which are divided into five sections: Big Easy Specialties, Traditions, Eye Openers, Festivals and Celebrations, and Refreshers. At the back of the book can be found recipes for mixers and garnishes, plus information on stocking a bar and bar accessories.

This book is a good choice for the home bartender who wants to have a quick reference to some of south Louisiana’s classic spirited drinks.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com.

Arnaud’s French 75

Makes 1 cocktail. Recipe is from Arnaud’s, where the drink has always been served. Kit Wohl says the “cocktail is so favored there the late Archie A. Casbarian renamed his bar for it.” She adds, “Fine Champagne and excellent cognac are especially important” in making the cocktail.

11/2 ozs. cognac

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. simple syrup

Ice

4 ozs. Champagne

Lemon curl, for garnish

1. Place the cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake only long enough to chill.

2. Pour into a frosted champagne glass, top with Champagne and add a lemon curl. Serve immediately.