The cocktails at Cure are simply mind blowing or should I say palate blowing?
I visited Cure on a Friday, by the end of Tales of the Cocktail week in New Orleans. If your Uber driver knows where to go and doesn’t get caught in traffic, it will take you about ten minutes to drive there from the French quarter.
Cure is pretty trendy but the atmosphere was rather laid back with groups of friends, from their mid twenties to their late forties, enjoying dinner or drinks together. There were quite a few Tales of the Cocktail participants, easily recognizable from their wristbands. The venue consists in a long room with high ceilings, cement floor, stone walls, floor to ceiling windows, industrial lights, tables with leather benches and a bar with a wooden counter top taking most of the room’s length. There is also a garden terrace.
Held in a leather portfolio, the menu starts with the happy hour offer: snacks from the kitchen, classic cocktails and shot & beer. It continues with the restaurant menu (cuisine, dessert and cheese). The farm sirloin steak tartare accompanied by a quail egg was tasty and I took my time savouring it. Finally, there were 13 summer cocktails, each a twist on a classic cocktail with the name of the bartender who’d invented the new recipe beneath it, 20 cocktails the staff at Cure loves and a list of 9 reserve cocktails.
For my first drink I went for a cocktail from the summer list, a twist on the Daisy called Say No More. I didn’t remember what the original cocktail tasted like but this one promised strawberries and saffron. The Yellow Chartreuse overpowered their flavours however and I couldn’t really taste them. Chartreuse is usually not my thing but here it worked.
After that, I ordered The Hardest Walk: Punt e Mes Vermouth, with Plantation Rum, Gran Classic Bitter and Regans Orange Bitter. Although there were very few ingredients, it was very complex nonetheless. The drink was sweet at first, with a slight taste of chocolate, but had a pretty bitter finish. It was actually too bitter for my taste and I couldn’t finish it. I asked the bartender for his recommendation for my third cocktail, saying I liked smokey drinks. He made me a twist on the Old Fashioned with scotch, a little bit of absinthe, Peychaud and Angostura Bitters, Demerara sugar syrup, a float of mezcal and an orange zest. The drink was fantastic with the absinthe slowly revealing itself.
As I was talking with some other TOTC attendees, I had a sip of their drinks: Eye in the sky, one of the bartenders’ twist on the Aviation with grapefruit and aromatic pisco; Black Maple Hill Rye Manhattan from the reserve cocktails list with Black Maple Hill Rye, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Angostura Bitters and an orange peel and, finally, Gunshop Fizz, also from the reserve list. I enjoyed the latter so much that I ordered one as my last call. I had read a lot about low ABV drinks, mostly based on bitters, and that one set the bar pretty high! It was made with Citrus Macerated Peychaud’s bitters, strawberry, cucumber, lemon and bitter soda. I don’t know the proportions of each but I would sure like to try and make it at home!
Cure should definitely be on your to do list if you visit New Orleans. Whether you’re traveling with your partner, some friends or by yourself, it is absolutely worth a visit. You’ll have a great time there and enjoy both good food and good cocktails.