Day 28: Apothecary Colada
Updated: Apr 21
Poet and revolutionary, Lord Byron, once said "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." Though laughter can be great, sometimes we need a little medicine of another sort. Welcome to day 28 of thrills, and hopefully not too many spills. Some cocktails and ingredients have strong roots as medicinal items, but there's one in particular which always make me thing of the pharmacy, and that's Peychaud's Bitters.
The bright red Peychaud's aromatic bitters, is perhaps the most iconic New Orleans ingredient, found the world over. You can visit a cocktail bar in almost any country in the world, and there's a good chance they have a bottle of the red stuff. Most people don't think about the origins of commonplace items, like a bottle of bitters, but Peychaud's is a product born from revolution. From 1791 until 1803, the then island of Saint Dominique underwent one of the most significant upheavals any country has seen. Describes as the largest and most successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere, the current country of Haiti, gained independence from France. Also, in 1803, the United States signed the Louisiana Purchases, buying the Louisiana Territory from France. If you were hoping to leave the island of Haiti at this time, New Orleans looked like a land of opportunity, now that all of the French-rule was gone. A young apothecary by the name Antoine Amedee Peychaud, took advantage of this, journeying to New Orleans and setting up shop on Royal Street in the French Quarter. It was here he developed his signature bitters, serving them in what would become the most cherished cocktail in New Orleans history, but that story is for another day. Let's go ahead and have a healthy dose of his bitters in a tropical quarantine cocktail.
.5oz Clairin Sajous (pure sugarcane, pot-distilled Haitian rhum)
.5oz Rhum Neisson Esprit (or any higher proof blanc Agricole)
.75oz Peychaud's Bitters
.25oz Don's Spices #2 (Equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice dram)
.25oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1oz Pineapple Juice
1oz Coconut Cream
Large snifter glass crusted with coconut powder.
Whip shake with crushed ice and pour unstrained.
Top with crushed ice.
Top with Angostura bitters.
Garnish with pineapple fronds, orange slice, and nutmeg.
Be careful, and don't underestimate how easily this prescription goes down. I say take two and meet me back here tomorrow. Take care of yourselves friends, and keep shaking.