It’s Mardi Gras time, and in case you don’t have a trip planned to New Orleans anytime soon, the Vieux Carré is an easy and delicious way to bring a bit of that old-world charm right into your very own home. This classic cocktail was invented in the 1930s by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, and is named after another term for the French Quarter (“Old Square,” which translates to “Vieux Carré”). The Monteleone is one of the grand old hotels located right on the square, and is home to the Carousel Lounge, a bar situated on a revolving carousel; the lounge slowly revolves around the bartenders. So while you’re sipping sweetly on your handcrafted cocktail, just imagine the scenery changing ever so slightly as you work your way around the bar.

Vieux carré cocktail

From Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em

(Serves 1)


  • 1/2 teaspoon Bénédictine
  • 1 dash Peychaud bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1/3 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1/3 ounce cognac
  • 1/3 ounce Italian vermouth
  • ice
  • cherry


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for 20 to 30 seconds and then strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry.

If you haven’t had Bénédictine before, it is easily one of my favorite spirits. It’s a sweet liqueur that’s based on a brandy, but originally made by Benedictine monks in France. I love adding it to lots of whiskey cocktails.

Let us know if you’re going to try this classic New Orleans cocktail this Mardi Gras and be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram!

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

(Photos via Nicole Iizuka / Brit + Co)