Handy’s Heat

A Submission for the Monteleone Cocktail Contest

As has been posted on several notable cocktail blogs, The Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans is hosting an online contest (in conjunction with Tales of the Cocktail) to find a new official Monteleone Cocktail, the original recipe for which was lost in the haze of the 1970’s (not a good decade for cocktails I guess). The winner will receive four nights lodging at The Monteleone during this year’s Tales gathering.

Now, I hadn’t been thinking of entering this but a couple days ago I was egged on to do so by my erstwhile business partner Ted Munat. Actually, I think Ted is hoping I win so that he can crash for free in my room. We’ll see about that.

Anyway, after putting some thought into what would make an appropriate Monteleone, I decided that in consideration of the fact it would be spending the rest of its life in New Orleans, it would need to “bow” in two specific directions:

First, towards The Quarter, meaning rye and absinthe.

Second, towards the Bayou, meaning cajun spice and heat.

After some tinkering, here’s what I came up with:

The Monteleone Cocktail (AKA Handy’s Heat)

2 oz. Sazerac Rye (or Thomas Handy Rye for more depth and kick)
1 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
1/4 tsp Absinthe
5 drops Chili Tincture (see recipe below)

Shake well over ice. Double strain into a chilled coupe. Lime peel garnish.

Here’s a photo of the finished drink, which I must say went down very nicely every time I made it this weekend:

Monteleone Cocktail (AKA Handy's Heat) by Michael Lazar

Chili Tincture (ala Erik Adkins/Jon Santer)

Fill a jar with de-stemmed, intact Thai (or other small, hot) chilies and cover with Wray & Nephew Overproof rum for two weeks. Strain out chilies and store tincture in a sealed container. Handle this stuff with care!

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