Classics Exhibition: Vieux Carré

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Welcome back to Classics, an exhibition and explanation of classic cocktails. For the next month, we’ll be sharing some Classics from our friends at Blackbird in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.

We left off in New Orleans, drinking Sazeracs and, well…we’re still here! The Vieux Carré is named after the New Orleans French Quarter. This cocktail perfectly embodies New Orleans – strong, complex and lively!

A Vieux Carré (View Cah-Rey) has a lot of ingredients, but is a simple drink to prepare. It’s equal parts of Rye, Brandy and Sweet Vermouth. It’s rounded out by a touch of Bénédictine and both Peychauds and Angostura bitters. For more on Peychauds, again, check out our last Classics post on the Sazerac.

Benedictine was founded by a French merchant in 1868, named Alexandre Le Grand. The legend goes that Le Grand found the recipe of a long deceased family member. The recipe included 27-herbs and botanicals that were said to have been created by the Benedictine monks. Whether or not it’s true, it’s a great story and the liqueur itself is indeed a wonderful elixir adding viscosity, sweetness and herbaceous undertones. All of these ingredients go into the mixer, are strained and poured into a chilled glass. Simple, see?

Photography: Andrew Dinh
Special Thanks: Victoria Canty