The St. James Infirmary Cocktail came to me one night at the Preservation Hall in New Orleans. I was down in Nola for Tales of the Cocktail. It was one of those sultry nights- 100% humidity and 90 degrees outside. I was drenched with sweat and trying not to go back to my hotel room to shower..again.. Up ahead was the Preservation Hall. This pile of tumbledown sticks and bricks doesn’t look much from the outside. In fact from the inside it isn’t much better.
But a cool breeze blows through the un-airconditioned space and the jazz that flows outside into the street is a lick of cooling air on your flesh. You just get all worked up inside so the heat no longer hurts.
The music is smooth, fine and historic in nature. Louis Armstrong’s ghost inhabits this place as does the ghosts of New Orleans Jazz masters who have come and gone throughout the ages. The music is slippery and puts a smile on your face.
I thought of this cocktail while dreaming of another time and another place. In this case, New Orleans in the 1930′s. It’s so powerful there. You cannot escape history.
St. James Infirmary cocktail, special thanks to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
2 oz Sloe Gin
1 shot of Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye Whiskey
1/2 shot of St. George Absinthe
1/2 shot of Royal Rose “Rose” Syrup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bitter End Bitters from New Mexico… Try their Mexican Mole’ Bitters in this little gem
Combine all the liquors with the lemon juice in a cocktail shaker
Shake with some fresh ice and strain into a coupe’ glass without ice
Finish with Q-Ginger Ale and 6 drops of Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters
Garnish with a ripe blueberry (or a sloe berry if you can find one!) And stay out of the infirmary!
Makes two rather tasty drinks.