Mardi Gras Basics

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! Are y'all getting ready to party tonight, or are you going to be like me and have a lazy night in with some homemade hurricanes, some tacky beads, and some delicious Cajun-inspired food? I would love to be in New Orleans - I've been a million times, but never at Mardi Gras - but I'm pretty sure this is the next best thing!

Tonight, I'm going to be making this recipe for Jambalaya Pasta. I'm kind of a Cajun food snob because I've spent so much time in New Orleans and my family's so deeply rooted in the South, and typically I'd be wary of random Pinterest recipes for Cajun food. However, I tried this recipe once before and LOVED it, both for how delicious it is and for how easy it is to make. Feel free to substitute chicken or sausage for shrimp or crawfish if you want - it's open to interpretation! If you're looking for a quick post-work dinner that gives you a taste of New Orleans, definitely try this out.

And nothing goes better with Cajun anything than a Hurricane. These super-strong, super-delicious cocktails were made famous by Pat O'Brien and are a staple in the French Quarter. I know from personal experience that these will seriously sneak up on you so maybe just limit yourself to one - it's a weeknight after all! Here's everything you need for a Hurricane, Pat O'Brien's style:
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
  • 1 oz amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • grapefruit juice
  • pineapple juice
 Mix everything but the fruit juices, shake it up with ice, strain it into the biggest glass you can find, and fill up the rest of the glass with equal parts grapefruit and pineapple juices. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry and enjoy responsibly!

If you're looking for an easier, less sugary version, try the original recipe, non-Pat style:
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice 
  • orange slice and/or cherry for garnish
 No party to go to tonight? No problem. Throw some beads and masks on, cook a quick and easy pot of jambalaya, and have a Hurricane or two. Mardi Gras doesn't have to be crazy to be fun, and you don't have to be in New Orleans to enjoy some of its local flavor!

Laissez les bons temps rouler, y'all!


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