Mixology at Home - Vieux Carre

This is another New Orleans classic from the 1930s. It has an international flavor - American rye, French cognac and Benedictine, and Italian sweet vermouth.
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 8:54 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - When you think of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the touristy drink Hurricane comes to mind. I will not say anything bad about the drink made popular by Pat O’Brien’s. It is a good party drink and definitely should be on your to-do list when visiting New Orleans.

However, there are better, more traditional cocktails from the Big Easy.

The Sazerac is one. I featured it last year on Mixology at Home so the recipe is on our website.

Here is another classic, from the 1930s ... vieux carre. It was originated by a bartender at the Carousel Bar. Vieux Carre means old square in French, so obviously, it refers to the French Quarter.

If I had a refined pallet, I would be able to explain each liquor’s contribution to the drink but that fails me. I do know it is a tasty cocktail.

New Orleans can be considered an international city, having been occupied by several nations. So, it makes sense that the vieux carre would have flavors from France (cognac and Benedictine), Italy (sweet vermouth), and America (whiskey).


  • 3/4 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz cognac
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 tsp Benedictine liqueur
  • 4 dashes aromatic bitters (or 2 each of aromatic and Peychaud’s)
  • Maraschino cherry or lemon twist garnish

Directions: In a mixing glass with ice, measure out three-quarters of an ounce of whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. Add two teaspoons of Benedictine liqueur and four dashes of aromatic bitters. Now, some people split those bitter dashes equally between aromatic and Peychaud’s. Stir for about 30 seconds to mix and chill the drink, strain into a rocks or martini glass, and garnish with a cherry or lemon twist.