Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Pat O'Brien's is of course a New Orleans staple.  The ambience is matched by no other.  Just spend one night at the piano bar and you'll see why.  Pat O's as it's so lovingly referred to by New Orleanians has (of course) an interesting history.

After prohibition ended in 1933, Pat O'Brien turned his then speakeasy bar into a legitimate dram house.  The cramped space in the 600 block of St. Peter's street proved to be too small to hold the bar's ever growing crowd that was expanding far beyond just neighborhood folks. So in the late 30s the business moved to it's larger location where it stands today (718 St. Peter).

In the early 1940s there was a shortage of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon as a result of war, the depression, and the drought from the years of prohibition. Rum, however was everywhere and New Orleans being the port city that it is saw plenty of it coming up the river.  Pat O's was determined to make the spirit palatable to it's clientele and thus after plenty of trial and error, the head bartender tossed his final creation into a glass shaped like a Hurricane lamp and the Hurricane was born.

Now, the Hurricane gets plenty of press but there are other cocktails on the Pat O'Brien's menu that many people are missing out on while pounding Hurricanes back watching the dueling pianos and slurring the words "You Don't Have to Call Me Darlin'...Darlin'." The cyclone, the skylab, the rain storm, are definite must try's but my personal favorite is The Rainbow.

Now I'm not usually a fan of the severely sweet cocktail in fact I tend to shy away from anything that even gives the appearance of a sugary hangover in a glass and that's blue (anything blue is just sketchy in my opinion.) But the rainbow is something different and my only exception.  And a layered drink is just cool, I mean come on, it is.

The Rainbow
(all ingredients must be layered to give this drink it's signature layered look for more about layering see tips and technique, if not your drink will just be a greenish mess with red syrup on the bottom.)

Glassware:  Pat O'Brien's serves their rainbow in a 14oz "lightning glass" and for $3.00 a piece having a nice collection of 6 is cost effective and also just fun to have. If not just grab a 14oz collins glass and if worse comes to worse, lighten up on the sweet and sour and just use a 12oz collins.

Instruction: (in the order of execution)
1 oz Grenadine
Add Ice
2 oz Vodka
Fill sweet and sour (feel free to make it from scratch but Pat O'Brien's offers it's own bottled variety)
Float 1-2 oz of blue curacao

A simple cherry and orange flag will top this off and you're ready to go.

It's not a fancy, superior, or trendy cocktail but it is fun and the rainbow, like Pat O'Brien's has stood the test of time. So they must be doing something right.

Have Fun Ya'll !

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