Come one, come all to the greatest free show on earth! Mardi Gras 2017 is upon us. With parades rolling nearly every day for the better half of February, it’s good to have a game plan in place to get the most out of your Mardi Gras. We’ve taken four of our favorite parades and matched them with the perfect cocktail so you won’t have to miss a single minute of the incredible music or leave behind a one-of-a-kind parade throw in search of the perfect beverage (or closest bathroom). And, since it’s New Orleans, you can take your drink with you back to the parade route in any container but glass.
our guide to Parades and Cocktails
This parade is a local favorite beloved for its satirical jabs at local and national politics. Its natural mate is Three Muses’ Orange Blossom Sazerac, the perfect twist on the classic New Orleans’ Sazerac. The first sip is as in-your-face as the floats but mellows out as the one-of-a-kind flavor and fun ensue. Saturday, February 11, 6:30 p.m.
The best part about the Muses parade is the crowd and the excitement. Since it rolls the Thursday evening before Mardi Gras Day, it boasts loyal local followers with serious traditions, and everyone in the crowd is amped for the 5 days of revelry ahead. For this fun and fiery night, a Pimm’s cup is a perfect fit with its sweet and spicy undertones. So grab one from the historic and charming Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue and fight your way through the crowd and catch a Muses shoe. Thursday, February 23, 6:30 p.m.
This noon “Animal House” style parade is guaranteed to be the highlight of your trip. An early roll time calls for a light and fizzy drink with plenty of punch, making the French 75 at Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar an ideal way to start the day. Get ready to catch a golden plunger in one hand as you hold this delicious creation in the other. Saturday, February 25, 12:00 p.m.
Krewe of Bacchus is one of the largest parades of Carnival. It’s has 33 grandiose floats and you are bound to walk away with your bags and arms overflowing with parade throws. They always manage to snag big names for their Kings, this year being The Passion of the Christ’s Jim Caviezel. They’re honoring the Saints in this year’s theme: Bacchus Salute The Saints 50th while you’re honoring Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, with sangria. Some of the best in the city is the white sangria at Maïs Arepas, a hidden gem located half a block off the parade route. Sunday, February 26, 5:15 p.m.
Happy Mardi Gras!