In Good Spirits
Story and photography by Cheré Coen
Cool off with this tropical-flavored cocktail that pays homage to New Orleans.
It’s hot in Southern Louisiana this time of year, steam rising from the sidewalks, droplets of sweat rolling down your back. Gators crawl out of the swamps and bask in the sunbaked mud flats while other critters — especially the human ones — take solace in the shade.
But at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant in Henderson, life is refreshing and cool.
Louisiana residents Betty Landry and Gerald Defez opened Landry’s Seafood House in Henderson in 1978, operating the location until 1993 when Tilman Fertitta, president and CEO of Landry’s, Inc., purchased the property and added it to his growing restaurant family. Betty Landry was the daughter of Willie G. Landry, who started the first restaurant with Fertitta in Texas. Today, Fertitta operates more than 400 properties around the world.
The Henderson Landry’s, located right off Interstate 10 where the Louisiana prairie meets the Atchafalaya swamp basin, remains popular with locals as well as visitors, despite the chain’s now lofty reputation. Most days, Landry’s of Henderson attracts quite a crowd at the daily Happy Hour. The restaurant offers a large bar with a Cajun décor and serves Louisiana-styled appetizers and several signature cocktails to curb the summer heat, said Max Ennamany, divisional vice president of corporate beverage at Landry’s Seafood.
“The cocktail menu offers a variety of signature cocktails from martini styles like the Chilled Cucumber or the Pomegranate Martini, to different flavored modern sangrias and tropical cocktails,” Ennamany explains. “We also offer two pages dedicated to the trending style of cocktails that include an old-fashioned with a twist (“Old, Yet Fashionable”), a blood orange mule, and Shipwreck’ed, which is a Tiki-style cocktail.”
But one cocktail stands out among the rest, a refreshing blend of alcohol flavors and fruit juices in a tall thistle glass, the Fleur-de-Lis.
“We had always served Mai Tais and Hurricanes with great success so we wanted to add a new tropical-flavored cocktail and give it a New Orleans name, giving patrons a new option with coconut rum as the base,” says Ennamany. “The drink quickly gained popularity and became one of the most frequently ordered cocktails, earning its place as a longtime favorite among guests. Its success and following has made it impossible to take off the menu.”
So, when the temperature soars and the throat parches and you’re aching for something cool and fruity with a kick, try making this Louisiana favorite at home.
1 ounce Cruzan Coconut Rum
1 ounce Midori Melon Liqueur
1/2 ounce DeKuyper Peach Schnapps
4 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces orange juice
Directions: In a shaker tin, mix all the ingredients and tumble with ice. Pour into a 21-ounce thistle glass and garnish with sliced fruit such as an orange wedge or cherry flag on the rim.Read More in DeSoto Magazine online.