Let your Mardi Gras colors shine in unexpected ways this year with a lineup of craft-styled libations. Created by top mixologists around the city, these clever concoctions let you celebrate the holiday without resorting to neon colored drinks laced with green #3, yellow #5 and grape soda. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Graveyard Park, Starlite
Pay homage to New Orleans, second-line jazz funerals, and above-ground cemeteries. Made with the NOLA anise-flavored Herbsaint, Old Harbor Gin, Lillet Blanc, and Triplum Orange, you'll soon be waving your own hankie in the air.
Moscato Breeze, Monello
Bursting with green goodness this lovely and refreshing cocktail is built with cucumber-lime grappa, lime, basil, cucumber and moscato. It's a sophisticated start to your downtown evening of debauchery.
De la Louisiane, Lion's Share
Ever been to Absinthe House in the French Quarter? Take the imaginary trip with a worthy homage featuring rye, cognac, Benedictine, Peychaud's Bitters (from New Orleans), and of course, absinthe. Careful of the green fairy.
Abita Purple Haze, various locations
On tap and in bottle around San Diego. Choosing a Louisiana-made craft beer for Carnival is a no-brainer, especially when it comes from a veteran brewery, Abita. Pair this raspberry wheat with a slice of king cake for a sweet ending to that bowl of jambalaya. Don't eat the baby!
Kir Royale, anywhere
Fulfill your purple passions with this Mardi Gras perfect cocktail. Featuring Champagne with a shot of stylishly bottled Chambord, you can celebrate Fat Tuesday in high style.
Mariachi el Bronx, Rare Form
Featuring Yellow Chartreuse, mezcal, pear brandy, and Fino Sherry, this multilayered cocktail is not for the faux Mardi Gras reveler. A few of these and someone will be shouting for beads.
Hardly Wallbanger, Sycamore Den
Nowhere is a yellow-based cocktail more appropriate than at the Den with its famous twist on the classic. Starring the retro liqueur Galliano, it's mixed with vodka, lemon, orange juice, vanilla and soda. Celebrating with friends? Have them order Smoke the Grasshopper, made with Green Chartreuse, for more colored fun.
Wishing you a happy and safe Mardi Gras!
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.