Vieux Carré Cocktail

Difford's Guide
User Rating (236 ratings)

Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Garnish:

Lemon zest twist

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.

Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Review:

A Sweet Manhattan served on-the-rocks with added herbal complexity and an all-important splash and dash or two of New Orlean's French Quarter.

Driven by comments on Difford's Guide, particularly one left in January 2021, I changed my Vieux Carré recipe to use 25% less whiskey, cognac, and vermouth but the same 10ml of Bénédictine, so amplifying the herbal richness it contributes. I also doubled the Creole bitters. For those who liked the previous recipe:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Cognac
30 ml Rosso vermouth
10 ml Bénédictine D.O.M. (this was 7.5ml pre-April 2020 & in my 15th book)
1 dash Aromatic bitters
1 dash Creole-style bitters

My quest for the perfect Vieux Carré continued in June 2022 when I succumbed to the calls to use rye in place of bourbon, in keeping with the original recipe. For the record, I tried a 50/50 mix of the two whiskies but this did not work as well as either just bourbon or indeed rye.

Variant:

Vieille Place

History:

Created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, the then head bartender at what is now the Carousel bar at the Monteleone Hotel, New Orleans, USA. Pronounced 'Voo-Ka-Ray' or more correctly 'Vyuh Cah-ray', it is named after the French term for New Orleans French Quarter and literally translates as 'old square'.

Adapted from a recipe in Stanley Clisby Arthur's 1938 Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to mix 'em.

Vieux Carré Cocktail
½ teaspoon benedictine
1 dash Peychaud bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/3 jigger rye whiskey
1/3 jigger cognac brandy
1/3 jigger Italian vermouth
The benedictine is used as a base and also for sweetening the cocktail. Dash on the bitters, then add rye, brandy, and vermouth. Put several lumps of ice in the barglass. Stir. Twist a slice of lemon peel over the mixture. Drop in a slice of pineapple and a cherry if you wish and serve in a mixing glass.

This is the cocktail that Walter Bergeron, head bartender of the Montelone cocktail lounge, takes special pride in mixing. He originated it, he says, to do honor to the famed Vieux Carré, that part of New Orleans where the antique shops and the iron lace balconies give sightseers a glimpse into the romance of another day.

Stanley Clisby Arthur, 1938

Nutrition:

One serving of Vieux Carré Cocktail contains 168 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.7 standard drinks
  • 30.27% alc./vol. (60.54° proof)
  • 23.7 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
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