In Good Spirits
By Cheré Coen | Photgraphy courtesy of Eat MS Coast
What cocktail exemplifies the Gulf Coast? Trying to find the “Official Cocktail of the Mississippi Gulf Coast” was the goal of two tourism organizations — Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast and Eat MS Coast — both known for exploring the flavors of the area.
Submissions came from bartenders, chefs and cooks from restaurants in Mississippi’s three coastal counties. The cocktail recipes were then evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of culinary professionals from outside of the region who participated in a series of blind taste tests. This group included James Beard Award-winning Executive Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and six others.
After weeks of testing recipes and through online voting the winner was “Cat Island Cruiser,” a cocktail created by Catherine “Cat” Ryan, bar manager at Bacchus on the Beach in Pass Christian. Ryan said she created the cocktail while watching the sunset over the Mississippi Sound.
The three finalists also producing cocktails worthy of the title were Debbie Davis from The Sycamore House in Bay St. Louis, Jessy Gazaway from Patio 44 in Biloxi, and William Hennis from Murky Waters BBQ & Blues in Ocean Springs.
The recipe for the Cat Island Cruiser includes Rougaroux Sugarshine Rum from Donner Peltier Distillers of Thibodaux, Louisiana, plus mango (fresh or pureed), mint and cilantro simple syrup, lime and club soda. For her winning creation, Ryan and the cocktail will be featured in numerous publications and artist Julie Trotter of Biloxi will create a painting of the drink. Bacchus on the Beach hosted the cocktail’s launch party.
Cat Island Cruiser
1 1/2 ounces Rougaroux Sugarshine Rum
Fresh mango chunks (or 1/2 ounce mango purée)
1 ounce cilantro mint simple syrup
2 lime wedges
Cilantro mint simple syrup:
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Cook all these ingredients, strain mint and cilantro from syrup.
Muddle fresh mango and limes in the bottom of a 12-ounce glass. Top with 1 ounce cilantro mint simple syrup. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add Rougaroux Sugarshine Rum. Fill with club soda. Garnish with fresh mint and cilantro.Read More in DeSoto Magazine online.