Time for a Drink: Cocktail \u00e0 la Louisiane

Let's get this weekend started right. Here's a cocktail to kick things off. Need more than one? Here you go. Cheers!

The Cocktail à la Louisiane is much more delicious than a near-obsolete drink has any right to be. Once the house cocktail for the Restaurant de la Louisiane—"one of the famous French restaurants of New Orleans," wrote city historian Stanley Clisby Arthur in 1937--this rich, voluptuous mix of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and the herbal Benedictine liqueur is accented with the subtle flavor of anise, provided by New Orleans' homegrown Peychaud's bitters and a few dashs of absinthe or pastis. First documented 70 years ago in Arthur's Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em, the Cocktail à la Louisiane has been largely ignored since then. It's worth the effort to search out the ingredients (or a talented bartender in a well-stocked establishment) and bring this drink into the 21st century.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

Time for a Drink: Cocktail à la Louisiane

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: Mix It Up: A la Louisiane at Eleven Madison Park


  • 3/4 ounce rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce Benedictine
  • 3 to 4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 3 to 4 dashes absinthe or a substitute (Herbsaint, Pernod, Ricard, or other pastis)


  1. 1

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill glass with cracked ice and stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry.

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