It’s getting warmer, people. Hell, some of us may even be able to finally take that beach vacation soon. And that means cocktails of the tropical variety are hopefully in our future. The Ninth Ward isn’t a full-blown tiki concoction, but it’s got just enough warm weather components to get you geared up for spring and looking forward to summer. The drink is a riff on the Ward 8 created by Brother Cleve at Tales of the Cocktail way back in 2008, and it is named for an area of New Orleans that was particularly hard-hit during Hurricane Katrina. Lime juice gives this one a summery brightness with a bit of herbal sweetness from the St. Germain. Velvet falernum, a staple of many tiki drinks, complements the citrus and bourbon with its clove and ginger notes, while the Peychaud’s ups the spice and adds a touch of licorice. Bulleit Blenders Select works particularly well in this one, but any high rye bourbon should do. And don’t forget to fine strain after shaking to get the perfect silky consistency.
1.5 oz. bourbon
.75 oz. fresh lime juice
.25 oz. St. Germain
.50 oz. Velvet falernum liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange slice or lime twist. Or both!