Hollywood: Get Your Krewe Card at Sassafras Saloon During Happy Hour
Sassafras Saloon launched a new frequent buyer’s card called Krewe. When you buy all six of the Happy Hour drinks ranging from Sazarac to Hurricane, you get a Ramos Gin Fizz for free. Now, I’m not recommending doing this all on one visit. Mostly because Sassafras is such a fun place, you may find it to you be your Hollywood local.
The New Orleans style bar chose “krewe” since it is the group that leads the charge on fun during Carnival. It sounds like a good group to be in. Happy Hour drinks are available 5-8 p.m. daily for only $8 each. First of all, happy hour every day? And until 8? Fantastic!
Sassafras has stepped up its Sazarac game with the inclusion of Lustau’s Brandy de Jerez. It’s a wonderfully rich brandy and lends historical accuracy to the drink (splitting the difference with the more common rye Sazarac).
Sazarac – brandy, rye, Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe rinse
Sometimes I find crusta drinks to be too sweet because of the sugar rim but Sassafras’ is perfectly tart and the pretty sugar rim enhances the drink.
Brandy Crusta – brandy, maraschino, dry curacao, lemon
Sassafras uses Cognac Park as their brandy for the Roffingac. While brandy can be made anywhere, only brandy from the French region Cognac is known as cognac. I like Park a lot and it makes a delicious mixed drink. A Roffingac is an old New Orleans drink that is almost never seen on a menu because of its simplicity. It’s a revved up high ball here and most appreciated for the times you want to get away from the boozier NOLA drinks.
Roffingac – gin, cognac, red raspberry hembarig syrup, soda
It’s funny to think of the first time you’ve had a particular drink. I can go for months without drinking long-time favorites because I’m always seeking new favorites. Then I recall a good drink and wish to have it again. That’s my Cocktail a la Louisine experience. When I’m thinking brown, bitter, stirred, I wrack my brain for drinks like that and often simply ask for a Manhattan variation. This would be a good one.
Cocktail a la Louisiane– rye, Benedictine, sweet vermouth, bitters, absinthe
A very similar drink to a Cocktail a la Louisine would be the Vieux Carre. To give this and any NOLA drink context, you have to think of the times. Everyone was drinking brandy and then eventually rye when the supplies dried up during war and lean times. Absinthe and liqueurs where prized. Adding a touch of absinthe made drinks “fancy.” Or Benedictine. So in this case, you’ll see the base of rye mixed with Benedictine and lots and lots of bitters.
Vieux Carre – rye, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters
And now we move from classic NOLA cocktails to something a bit more recent, a Hurricane. Naturally, the ones at Sassafras are better than your average swill found on Bourbon Street in the Big Easy. These are made with a blend of several rums and fresh fruit juices including lemon, orange, pineapple and passion fruit.
Hurricane – white, aged, spiced rums, lemon, orange, pineapple, passion fruit, fall grenadine
Now that we’ve made it through all six happy hour drinks, what do we get?
Ramos Gin Fizz! Yep, this drink is usually the bane of a bartender’s existence as they hate endlessly shaking them. But Sassafras will happily give you one when you get your Krewe card all stamped up.
Ramos Gin Fizz – gin, egg white, orange flower water, cream, simple syrup, lemon, lime, soda
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