New Orleans is the Jewel of America and while a different festival is held there every week of the year, nothing captures our imagination and excitement like Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday.” A profusion of Purple (justice), Gold (power) and Green (faith) colours and a celebration of music imbue the spirit and fill the air.
This year we’re going to dress up, throw beaded necklaces, craft our own cocktails, maybe even build our float, and celebrate Mardi Gras in the comfort of our own home.
Here’s what you’ll need…
MUSIC: We’ve got to have music! Visit Spotify or Apple Music, type “Louisiana” in the search bar and discover new curated Mardi Gras playlists. Also, check out LouisianaTravel.com’s Louisiana Soundtrack to find a collection of Spotify playlists broken down by genre: Jazz, blues, country and zydeco. The number of artists you’ll hear offer a great introduction to what Louisiana music is all about.
COCKTAILS: There is no official Mardi Gras cocktail, but The Sazerac Cocktail, a New Orleans creation, is an exceptionally traditional Louisiana cocktail, and America’s original cocktail, so why not enliven your evening by shaking one up! For the recipe go to: https://www.louisianatravel.com/culinary/recipes/sazerac-cocktail
FOOD: King Cake is a Carnival tradition. Oval-shaped twisted-sweet dough is decorated with purple, green and gold sugar, and somewhere hidden inside is a plastic baby! As a symbol of Jesus first showing himself to the Three Wise Men, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake. Whoever is lucky enough to find the baby gets to provide the king cake for the next celebration. For the traditional King Cake recipe go to: https://www.louisianatravel.com/culinary/recipes/traditional-king-cake-recipe And, for the Creole King Cake Ice Cream recipe: https://www.louisianatravel.com/culinary/recipes/creole-king-cake-ice-cream-recipe
Louisiana Tourism is also sponsoring Mardi Gras for All Y’all by NOLA.com, a three-night virtual celebration to bring people from all over the world together for this wonderful cultural event. For details go to: https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/mardi_gras/article_151274b6-4f94-11eb-ab84-1b952daae606.html
Get creative with the extraordinary cultural tapestry of instrumentation and gastronomy that is New Orleans, and Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.