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I appreciate the diversity of Wyoming’s seasons. The extreme changes in weather prevent life from being stagnant; they help me stay curious and engaged. And if the weather is not sufficient, here are two more reasons to stay curious and engaged.

Named after New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Vieux Carré was created in the 1930s by Walter Bergeron at New Orleans’ spinning Carousel Bar within the Hotel Monteleone. In 1937, Stanley Arthur reduced the recipe to print in “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix Them.” Arthur was a California native with a love of culture, customs and history who settled in the Big Easy after serving as a war correspondent in the Philippines during Spanish American war.

In this booze-forward dark soul, spicy rye flavors and oak-ey caramel and vanilla from the cognac combine with herbal, floral, and fruity notes from the vermouth and bitters. To that end, it shares some DNA with the Manhattan cocktail but is more complex because of the two base spirits and two bitters. Benedictine infuses the Manhattan-esque backbone with additional herbal character, a honeyed baking spice presence and deep citrus and vanilla accents. The vermouth you choose will most significantly change the drink’s flavor. Urban Bottle currently offers several great options. As the snow flies, make this your pre- or post-dinner fireplace sipper.

Vieux Carré

  • ¾ oz. Rye
  • ¾ oz. Cognac
  • ¾ oz. Sweet (Italian) vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon DOM Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice for 20 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube. Garnish with a flamed lemon twist, a brandied cherry, or both.

I drew inspiration for this next drink from a hearty pumpkin curry bisque that my wife and I make for soup dinners each fall. The drink is subtly savory — less so than than the soup — but still has the same inviting fall flavors of curry, baking spices, and rich, spicy meat.

Piqued Curry-osity

  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon
  • ½ oz. Aquavit
  • ¼ oz. Pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
  • ½ oz. Pure pumpkin
  • ½ oz. Coconut milk
  • ½ oz. Pure maple syrup (Grade B preferably)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. Toasted curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. Toasted cardamom

In a Boston shaker, vigorously whisk or dry shake the egg for 20 seconds. Then add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice for an additional 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled, Mezcal rinsed coupe (available downtown at Urban Bottle) and garnish with a skewered chorizo or similar aged salami.

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As with last month’s pearenthetical (ex)citation cocktail, you can take some liberty with this drink depending on the ingredients you have available. If you don’t have Aquavit add extra bourbon and ¼ tsp. of toasted cumin. And if you don’t have allspice liqueur make allspice infused simple syrup or just add ¼ tsp. toasted allspice. Substitute ¼ tsp. total of other baking spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg with a dash of cloves for the cardamom if necessary. No mezcal? Try a tequila rinse.

The burden of proof is now yours. Life rewards the curious. Go make a good curious-sounding drink for a good, curious-minded friend.

A Wyoming native, Jeremy Hugus is an injury lawyer and the owner of Platte River Law Firm by day, a gourmand by night, and a humorist in his dreams.  If you have questions or comments, or would like to see a particular spirit or topic featured, please email Jeremy at

A very spirited thanks to Urban Bottle Platte River Law Firm for helping to make this column possible.

Follow features editor Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer




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