mardi gras

Happy Mardi Gras! The famous celebration captures the nation’s attention with parades, traditional costumes, beads, floats, and plenty of imbibing. While most of the celebrations take place in the southeast, you can find Mardi Gras activities around the country. We’ve compiled some regional Mardi Gras cocktail recipes so you can get in on the fun.

1) New Orleans, Louisiana

You can’t talk about Mardi Gras without talking about New Orleans, home of the largest and most famous celebrations. The NOLA Mardi Gras is also credited as being the first with tossed “throws” in 1870. The city practically shuts down for various activities. New Orleans is also home to some of the most famed krewes, like the Zulu Krewe, known for its costumes and throws, and the Rex Krewe, which is over 150 years old.

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 3 oz. dark rum
  • 6 oz. passion fruit juice
  • 6 oz. orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. grenadine
  • Ice
  • 2 orange slices
  • 2 maraschino cherries

Source: Delish

2) Mobile, Alabama

While Mardi Gras is most commonly associated with New Orleans, the first US celebration actually took place in Mobile in 1703. City Clerk Joe Cain brought the traditional celebration back to the mainstream after the Civil War. Mobile residents celebrate “Joe Cain Day” the Sunday before Fat Tuesday.

The Chrissy (based on the Frangelico Float)
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ¼ oz. Frangelico
  • 1 oz. crème de cacao
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 oz. chocolate syrup


3) Biloxi, Mississippi

Dubbed the “Carnival on the Coast,” Biloxi hosts several parades up and down the Mississippi Gulf Coast throughout January and February. The season begins with Biloxi Twelfth Night at the Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum and continues with balls, parades, and more. Biloxi is also home to the all-female Krewe of Nereids, the oldest Mardi Graw krewe on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz. dark crème de cacao
  • 2 oz. whole milk
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg


4) Galveston, Texas

You know what they say, everything is bigger in Texas! Galveston residents enjoy two weeks of festivities throughout its historic downtown and beachfront areas. There are a total of 23 parades, including the famous Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade, with over 2,000 marchers with decorated umbrellas. There is also the Zaniest Golf Cart Parade, filled with outlandishly decorated carts.

Key Lime Pie Martini
  • 3 oz. vanilla-flavored vodka
  • 2 oz. KeKe Beach Key Lime liqueur
  • 2 tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Lime juice and graham cracker crumbs for rimming glass

Source: Official drink of Galveston’s Z Krewe

5) St. Louis, Missouri

Hosted in the historic Soulard neighborhood, the St. Louis Mardi Gras celebrations kick off with its version of 12th Night, where local leaders and krewes try and “bribe” city organizers to begin the Mardi Gras festivities with various cocktails. This is followed by multiple parades, cook-offs, the world’s largest costumed pet parade, and more. Fat Tuesday occurs at Busch Stadium and leads patrons to the famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

King Cake Cocktail
  • 2 oz. cake vodka
  • 1 oz. Irish cream
  • 1 oz. half and half
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • ½ tsp. Simple syrup (optional)
  • Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
  • Sanding sugar in colors (purple, green, and gold)
  • 1 cup ice for shaker

Source: 5 On Your Side, St. Louis, MO

6) Orlando, Florida

You know Florida had to jump in on any festivity involving alcohol. As one of the premier theme park destinations in the country, Orlando’s Universal Studios hosts an International Flavors of Carnaval each year with concerts and a nightly 35-minute parade complete with authentic dancers and floats. Patrons can also enjoy Mardi Gras-inspired foods and beverages from around the world.

Pimm’s Cup
  • 2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
  • ½ oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Ginger ale, to top
  • Garnish with a cucumber slice, mint sprig, and strawberry


7) Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola’s Mardi Gras celebrations can be traced back to 1874. The run continues with multiple family-friendly options and has a four-hour Grand Mardi Gras Parade on February 18. The celebrations typically conclude with Fat Tuesday festivities like a crawfish boil in Seville Quarter and live jazz music. You can also expect to see the coronation of new Mardi Gras royalty.

Zombie Cocktail
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. apricot liquor
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 dash lime Bitters
  • 1 handful ice
  • 1 oz. Bacardi 151 rum
  • Garnish with an orange slice and cherry

Source: Delish

8) San Diego, California

The East Coast isn’t the only region to celebrate Mardi Gras. San Diego has its mark on the famous celebration with a three-day event in the Gaslamp Quarter. These festivities skew more toward adults-only and include club and bar crawls, parades, and more.

French 75
  • 1 ½ oz. gin
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 3-4 oz. Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • Garnish with lemon peel

Source: Delish

Be Sure to Enjoy Responsibly – And Be Sure to Sell Responsibly with Fintech!

Mardi Gras is packed with storied traditions and tons of fun. No matter where you celebrate, be sure to celebrate responsibly. Don’t see something you like? There are plenty of other Mardi Gras-themed cocktails to try.

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