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  • Brian Maxwell

Day 14: The Curse of Jean Lafitte


"We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot. Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho!" Welcome to day 14 of this wild voyage we call quarantine. I hope you crew isn't driving you too crazy just yet. For today, I was thinking about those of us who aren't stuck at home alone, and perhaps you'd like to make a shareable cocktail to keep up morale. Our inspiration for this libation comes from Jean Lafitte, one of the most infamous pirates to ever operate in the Gulf of Mexico.

Along with his brother Pierre, the french-born Lafitte smuggled and traded goods through the port of New Orleans. It's said that present day bar, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, was one of the store fronts used by the brothers as a depot to hide their plundered goods. The Lafitte brothers formed a band of pirates operating out of Barataria Bay, which is located south of New Orleans. Because Barataria Bay was an important approach to New Orleans, the British during the War of 1812 offered Laffite $30,000 and a captaincy in the Royal Navy for his allegiance. Always one to look for a better deal, Laffite pretended to cooperate. His real plan was to warn Louisiana officials of New Orleans’s peril. Instead of believing him, Gov. W.C.C. Claiborne summoned the U.S. Army and Navy to wipe out the colony. Some of Laffite’s ships were even captured in the conflict. This didn't stop Lafitte from helping the United states. He offered to help the hard-pressed forces of Gen. Andrew Jackson in defense of New Orleans if he and his men could be granted a full pardon. Jackson accepted, and in December of 1824, in the Battle of New Orleans, he and his men fought with distinction. Jackson personally commended Laffite as “one of the ablest men” of the battle, and Pres. James Madison issued a public proclamation of pardon for the group. Jean Lafitte, pirate, business man, and master negotiator. It only seems fitting his drink would carry the full force of a ship's cannon.

The Curse of Jean Lafitte

1.5oz Aged Barbados Rum (I like using something pretty deep and flavorful, Real McCoy 12yr is pretty spot on here, but don't let me limit your ambition. Play with your rums!)

.5oz Overproof Jamaican Rum (The usual suspects should work, Rum Fire, Rum Bar, and Wray)

.5oz Overproof Demerara Rum (I used Lemon Hart 151)

1oz Cognac

1oz Falernum

1oz Fassionola

.5oz Orgeat

1oz Lime Juice

1oz Lemon Juice

1oz Pineapple Juice

.25oz Peychaud's Bitters

Small Tiki Bowl

Whip shake with crushed ice and pour unstrained into vessel.

Top with crushed ice.

Garnish with pineapple fronds, flowers, and citrus pirate ship. This is one of those garnishes to really get wild and have fun with.

As I mentioned before, this drink was originally meant to share, but I'm not here to tell you how to quarantine! Have fun with this one, but always try to shake responsibly. Otherwise, you'll simply be another victim of Lafitte's curse. Until we set sail again tomorrow, have a great day at home, and keep shaking.


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