Drink of the Week: Lone Eagle Grille’s Vieux Carre
In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.
Before you even ask, I have no idea how the drink name is supposed to be pronounced. My note taking game was supremely sub par the day I tasted this drink. But, a little bit of research tells me that this cocktail originates in New Orleans, and if you know O.G. Louisiana cocktails, you’ll know this one packs a punch.
And according to its Wikipedia page, this cocktail was also classified as one of the “Unforgettables” by the International Bartenders Association after being selected for use in the annual World Cocktail Competition. In other words, this drink comes with a somewhat storied resume.
This version sets the stage with Woodford rye whiskey, which brings in notes of clove, molasses and honey, along with a sweetly spiced finish. It’s mixed with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Hennessy VS (very special) cognac, bitters, and Benedictine – essentially creating a super team of spirits. It’s like if Casper, Slimer, Candyman, and Beetlejuice all came together and started a band.
All in, this is perhaps a little sweeter than you might think, given all the liquor. And, even though the whiskey is the main ingredient, it doesn’t overpower, but it does punch through just enough to take the leading role.
Benedictine, which doesn’t make its way into cocktails on a consistent basis, adds depth. The liqueur made with 27 different plants and spices compliments the honey and smokiness from the whiskey while bringing in additional notes of citrus and herbs.
The sweet vermouth and the cognac provide a super duo of spices, which helps to round out each sip for a nice and smooth finish.
I think if you’re a fan of any of the ingredients used in this drink, you’ll also be a fan here. There’s so much flavor and layers of complexity that you’ll enjoy peeling each back and getting to the roots. Don’t let this cast of spirits spook you – they’re in it for a good time.
The Lone Eagle Grille is located at 111 Country Club Dr. in Incline Village. For hours of operation and menu information, visit them online at loneeaglegrille.com or give them a call at 775-886-6899.
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