how to make a vieux carré cocktail

Vieux Carré is an interesting and complex cocktail made with no less than four different spirits. Despite the many ingredients, including multiple base spirits, the drink is pretty smooth. It is very potent as you can imagine from all the spirits in it.

Vieux Carré literally translate as the “Old Square” and is named after the French Quarter in New Orleans. The French Quarter, which is also known as Vieux Carré is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. The drink was invented in the mid 1930s at the Carousal Bar at the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.

Benedictine is a herb-based liqueur developed as a tonic that is said to have many medicinal values. Although it is only used in moderation in this recipe, it along with the Angostura bitters provide the drink with a very distinctive taste and flavor.


  • 1 shot of Rye Whiskey
  • 1 shot of Cognac
  • 1 shot of Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 shot of Benedictine
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Lemon Twist for garnish


  1. Add ice cubes into a mixing glass
  2. Add 1 shot of the Rye Whiskey into the shaker
  3. Add 1 shot of Cognac
  4. Add 1 shot of the Sweet Vermouth
  5. Add 1/2 (half) shot of Benedictine
  6. Add 2 or 3 shakes of the Angostura Bitters into the shaker
  7. Add 2 or 3 shakes of the Peychaud’s Bitters
  8. Stir well to mix the ingredients
  9. Fill half of a Old Fashioned or Rocks glass with ice
  10. Strain the contents of the mixing glass into a rocks glass over ice
  11. Garnish with a lemon twist

Vieux Carre Cocktail in a rocks glass


There are not a whole lot of variations of this drink. Still, it is fun to experiment by substituting with various other liqueurs.

You can substitute the Rye Whiskey with Bourbon.

You can also substitute the Cognac with Brandy for different flavor profile, or also try aged rum.


Vieux Carré cocktail can also be served straight up as a martini cocktail in martini glass. Also, use a cherry as garnish instead of the lemon twist when served as a martini cocktail.

You can also shake the ingredients in a martini shaker with ice instead of stirring. Some consider this to unacceptable as it will over dilute the drink, but i have found it to be just as good. Shaking allows the ingredients to be mixed thoroughly in less time. Use less ice than usual in the shaker.