Mardi Gras is a famed celebration that is rich in New Orleans' cultural roots and traditions. Since 1699, Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans when the explorer Iberville first set foot there on Mardi Gras Day also known as Fat Tuesday.
Mardi Gras or Carnival Season filled with festive parades, King Cake, and elaborate balls begins January 6 each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day of the feast celebrated exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday.
The Twelfth Night Ball is the first ball to kick off Carnival Season. These grand balls are thrown by Krewes (organizations or social clubs) for their members and lucky guests. Krewes also stage parades and other events for Carnival Season.
I have had the wonderful experience of being the guest of not one but two Krewe of Zeus Carnival Balls! These lavish balls begin with crowning the new royalty king and queen, dukes and duchesses, and the like, who are then presented in lavish costumes to an audience of guests. Following the coronation, guests enjoy cocktails in the Grand Cocktail Room. The Dinner Dance begins in the Grand Ballroom at 9:00 p.m. and ends at 2:00 A.M. with dining, dancing, more cocktails, King Cake, and even breakfast served at 1:00 A.M. The celebration does not end after the Dinner Dance without a stop at Cafe Du Monde for café au lait and beignets!
The Mardi Gras Parades are another tradition unique to each Krewe and their history. These parades roll through New Orleans and its suburbs during Carnival Season. Strings of brightly colored beads, doubloons, cups, or other trinkets...typically gold, green, and purple...which represent power, faith, and justice are passed out or thrown from the parade floats.
Don't forget about the King Cake, a blend of coffee cake and cinnamon roll, iced in yellow, green, and purple and is frequently packed with fruit fillings and decadent cream cheeses. Hidden in the King Cake is a small plastic baby, and whoever finds it must either bring the next cake or throw a party, thus continuing an unending celebration of food and fun!
Staying with the Mardi Gras tradition is the classic daiquiri (pronounced da·kr·ee). This rum-based cocktail isn’t a native creation of New Orleans. The daiquiri was first created in Cuba, in the small village of Daiquirí for which the drink was named. In 1896, Jennings Cox, an American engineer who lived in Cuba at the time was credited with creating the daiquiri. It wasn’t until 1909 that the daiquiri would become popular in America.
We hope you will celebrate Mardi Gras with our version of the classic daiquiri and love it as much as the locals do in N'AWLINS!
Mardi Gras Daiquiri
- 2 oz. Light Rum (Bacardi Superior White Rum)
- ¾ oz. Lavender or Lavender Lemon Syrup
- ¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- Lavender Sugar (add a little green, yellow, and purple sugar)
- Garnish with Dehydrated Limes
Rub the glass rim with lavender lemon simple syrup, then dip in the lavender sugar, coating evenly. Add the rum, syrup, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain and pour the mixture into the glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lime slice.