Stocking the Bar: Mardi Gras Brunch Cocktails

The chefs at New Orleans' Cafe Adelaidé and the Swizzle Stick Bar share their tips on what to serve during Mardi Gras.

Brandy Milk Punch

To celebrate Mardi Gras like they do in the Big Easy, get your friends together for a day-long celebration filled with rich, fried foods and lots of cocktails. To help you stock the bar for the party, we asked Chef Chris Lusk and Bar Chef Lu Brow of New Orleans' Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar what to have on hand.

While Mardi Gras is a time of excess, Bar Chef Lu serves up mostly daytime cocktail classics at the bar, partly because the celebrations begin so early in the day. “No shots,” she says, but “lots of Champagne cocktails, as it’s a time of celebration.”

While she serves up quite a few mimosas and screwdrivers during Mardi Gras, her signature Bloody Mary is by far the crowd favorite. “One person sees another person holding the drink and immediately asks where they got it,” Chef Lusk explains. “Soon everyone is carrying one.” Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that she goes through over 30 gallons of homemade base during the two week celebration.


What to Serve:

Brandy Milk Punch

Brunch in New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without this cocktail. (Photo courtesy of Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar)



This mimosa recipe calls for the slightly sweet, red-colored blood orange juice, but you can also use plain old OJ, too.


Bloody Marys

Chef Lu goes through over 30 gallons of her homemade tomato base during Mardi Gras. Make sure to have lots of pickled vegetables on hand for garnishing. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/scaredy_kat)


Spiked Coffee

While this decadent spiked coffee recipe calls for crème de cacao and a coffee liqueur like Kahlua, you might also like this Bailey’s and moonshine-spiked coffee for something quick and easy (and delicious).



The classic vodka and orange juice drink served up in a Collins glass.


Click here to see A New Orleans-Style Brunch.

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