Lagniappe – Cocktail & Sons King Cake Syrup Review

Photo courtesy of Cocktail & Sons.

Photo courtesy of Cocktail & Sons.

Every Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, store shelves get inundated with king cakes and king cake-flavored stuff.  There’s king cake vodka and king cake soda to name a couple.  Most of that stuff is overly sweet or tastes like cinnamon candy.  New Orleans-based Cocktail & Sons sought to release a king cake flavored item that’s actually good.  Flavoring for this syrup includes cinnamon, pecan extract and lemon.

That product is their limited edition King Cake cocktail syrup.  It’s limited in that the stuff’s for sale until Mardi Gras, or February 9th for those of you not lucky enough to call NOLA home.

Opening the sample bottle I was sent and taking a whiff, I have to admit – the stuff really does smell like a king cake.  It’s not just cinnamon I smell.  The other ingredients really add a complexity not always found in a flavored syrup.  I’d love to pour this over a stack of pancakes.

I tried their recommended Carnival Punch cocktail with Woodford Reserve (recipe below), and it may become a staple in the household for Mardi Gras season.  And yes, every bottle is packaged with a plastic baby.  Nice.

Bottles are available for purchase through the Cocktail & Sons online store.

Carnival Punch

By Max Messier


1.5 oz. Rum, vodka or bourbon

.75 oz. Cocktail & Sons King Cake Syrup

.75 oz. Lemon juice

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Lemon wheel

DIRECTIONS: Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas

Turkey time is almost here.  To help celebrate my favorite holiday, I thought I’d share some cocktail ideas from Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Laphroaig and Cruzan Rum.

KC_Old Fashoined Holiday

Photo courtesy Knob Creek

Knob Creek® Old Fashioned Holiday (recipe by Celebrity Chef Michael Symon)
1 1/2 Parts Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey
1/2 Part Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 Part Lemon
1 Part Wild Ale (like Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales®)
1 Egg White
Nutmeg for Garnish

Method: Combine all ingredients in a bar tin without ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 20 seconds. Double strain into chilled lowball glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Cruzan® Sparkling Honey Diamond

Photo courtesy Cruzan Rum

Cruzan® Sparkling Honey Diamond


1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Estate Diamond® Dark Rum 
3/4 part Lime Juice
3/4 part Honey Syrup
Sparkling Wine 
Method: Combine rum, juice and syrup over ice and shake for 15 seconds. Fine strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine.
Laphroaig_Montgomerie Smoked Cider
Laphroaig® Montgomerie Smoked Cider
1 1⁄2 parts Laphroaig® 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 parts apple cider
1 part fresh lemon sour

Method: Build over ice in order. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Basil Hayden's Spiced Cocoa

Photo courtesy Basil Hayden

Basil Hayden’s® Spiced Cocoa
2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
1/4 part Nocello® Walnut Liqueur
2 parts Spicy Hot Cocoa* (see recipe below)
2 Chili Peppers (for garnish)

Method: Pre-heat mug by filling it with hot water – discard water after 30 seconds. Add Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon and Nocello® Walnut Liqueur to the heated mug. Add the spicy hot cocoa and gently mix together. Garnish with chili peppers.

Spicy Hot Cocoa*
1/2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Cup Water

Method: Mix dry ingredients together, add hot water and stir until dissolved.

National Bourbon Heritage Month Cocktails

As Bourbon Heritage Month nears its end, Diageo sent out a few cocktail recipes I thought I’d share.

The Anytimer

Photo courtesy Diageo.

Photo courtesy Diageo.

1.3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. Orange juice
1. oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
1/2 oz. amaretto

Shake ingredients and strain into an ice filled tumbler. Garnish with an orange and cherry.

Gramercy Buck

Cocktail created by Amanda Tissue of the Gramercy Park Hotel 

Photo courtesy Diageo

Photo courtesy Diageo

1.3 oz. Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
Muddled Strawberries

Top off with Ginger Beer

Serve in a highball glass.

Old Fashioned

Photo courtesy Diageo

Photo courtesy Diageo

1.3 oz. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bar Spoon of Brown Sugar
Dash of Orange Bitters
2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
House-made Cherries
Garnish with Orange Twist