[Jez Timms/Unsplash]

Drink like a rock star during Carnival

00:00 January 24, 2013
By: Kristal Blue
[Courtesy of Windsor Court]

The Windsor Court hotel will, for a few short weeks, turn out posh cocktails based on premium wines, Cognacs and Champagnes culled from their deep collection.

Their special line of high-end cocktails debuts tomorrow, just ahead of football and Carnival revelers. "We wanted to showcase New Orleans cocktails at the luxury level," said sommelier Sara Kavanaugh, who developed the idea with Skip Adams, the hotel's food and beverage director.

So the Vieux Carré features Martell XO, a rich Cognac highlighting what I like most about this cocktail - its silky nuttiness. Maybe even rarer is the 100 percent rye whiskey paired with it.

The Sazerac likewise gets its swank on the broad shoulders of Louis XIII, a Cognac made from 1,200 eaux-de-vie and aged in century-old local oak casks. At $2,000, this Sazerac costs about as much as a bottle of Louis XIII, but your drink also comes with a future Club-level stay at the Windsor Court.

(And, in a spirited run of musical chairs, anyone finishing this Cognac's distinctive, crystal-spiked bottle here gets to take it home.)

Topping out the special list is a $10,000 fruity cobbler made with a "super-rare" 1907 D'Oliveira Madeira, delivering a "nutty, caramel and crème brûlée finish," Sara said. Besides the thrill of drinking wine made from grapes that were dangling on the vine while young Louis Armstrong roamed Rampart Street, this super cobbler comes with a future stay in the Windsor Court penthouse.

More within my reach (if at NYC prices) are a cobbler-style old-fashioned, a Negroni, hot buttered rum, and a gin and ginger mule.

Finally, the festive French 75 (both its name and its price) is made with apple-dry Cristal Brut Champagne that has the "power to hold up to the bitters," Sara said. As with the other wines and spirits, you can get it by the glass.

What else makes these cocktails exclusive? Come Ash Wednesday, they'll be gone.

Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier Street, 504. 523.6000. The special luxury cocktail list will be available Jan. 25 - Feb. 12 at the Polo Club Lounge, Grill Room and Cocktail Bar. The Sazerac (Key to the Court) and Madeira cobbler (Key to the City) include two-night stays at the Windsor Court, round-trip airfare, and various hotel amenities.

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