Today, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite cocktails, the Vieux Carré. This classic drink is a true masterpiece that combines the flavors of rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and a dash of both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. The result is a rich, complex, and sophisticated cocktail that never fails to impress.
The Vieux Carré has its roots in the famous French Quarter of New Orleans, which is also known as the Vieux Carré. The name itself translates to “Old Square,” which perfectly captures the nostalgic charm and old-world elegance of this beloved cocktail.
To make a Vieux Carré, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3/4 ounce rye whiskey
- 3/4 ounce cognac
- 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1/4 ounce Bénédictine
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- Lemon twist, for garnish
To start, fill a mixing glass with ice and add the rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, Angostura bitters, and Peychaud’s bitters. Stir gently for about 30 seconds to chill and dilute the drink slightly, then strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
Garnish your Vieux Carré with a lemon twist, expressing the oils over the drink before dropping it in. This simple step adds a lovely citrus aroma that complements the complex flavors of the cocktail.
Now, let’s talk about the taste. The Vieux Carré is a harmonious blend of robust, spicy, and herbal notes. The rye whiskey provides a bold foundation, while the cognac adds depth and a touch of sweetness. The sweet vermouth brings a beautiful balance and richness to the mix, while the Bénédictine, a herbal liqueur with hints of honey and spices, adds a unique complexity. The Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters tie everything together, adding layers of aromatic depth.
When sipping on a Vieux Carré, you’ll experience a symphony of flavors dancing on your palate. The initial sip offers a burst of warmth and spice, followed by the smoothness of the cognac and the subtle sweetness of the vermouth. As you continue to enjoy this delightful cocktail, the herbal undertones of Bénédictine and the aromatic bitters reveal themselves, creating a well-rounded and unforgettable drinking experience.
The Vieux Carré is a perfect choice for those who appreciate the art of cocktail craftsmanship. Its complex flavor profile and rich history make it an intriguing and sophisticated drink that never fails to impress. So why not channel your inner mixologist and give this classic cocktail a try? Cheers!