8 Classic Orleans Parish Criminal Justice Cocktails



“According to the National Registry of Exonerations, … Orleans Parish, where [New Orleans] sits, holds the title for having the highest exoneration rate per capita of all major counties in the country, according to the National Registry’s report on exonerations across the U.S.”

—Brentin Mock, The Atlantic & Citylab


The Police Brutality Brandy Punch

Brandy, cream, vanilla, and a fist to the face. Switch off bodycam just before serving.


The False Confession Ramos Gin Fizz

Gin, 1 egg white, half-and-half, lime juice, orange flower water, 1 good cop, and 1 bad cop. Place ingredients in a cold room with intense lighting. Shake for 36 hours. Strain through sleep deprivation to remove frothy resistance.  


The Indigent Defense Absinthe Frappe 

Absinthe, mint, simple syrup, soda water, 1 public defense funding crisis, and crushed hopes. Muddle ingredients hastily, in the scant time available before the hearing. Shake vigorously and serve with a plea deal. 


The Wrongful Conviction Hurricane

Dark rum, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, grenadine, flawed forensic science, and prosecutorial misconduct. Shake ingredients with the icy heart of a grandstanding district attorney. Garnish with an orange slice and a Brady violation. 


The Solitary Confinement Sazerac

Herbsaint, rye, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, and despair. Chill a tiny cell. Combine sugar, bitters, and the screams of cellblock neighbors driven mad by isolation. Stir for 30 days, until sugar dissolves, then add despair. Garnish with a twist of sadism.


The Exoneration à la Louisiane

Rye, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe, and new evidence, such as an untested DNA sample. Stir ingredients with ice and strain through powerful judicial pushback. Serve cocktail up to 35 years after it is ordered, or never at all. 


The Lethal Injection Drug Cocktail

Why do people keep calling this a cocktail? This is not a cocktail. It is several syringes full of poison.


The Actual Innocence Corpse Reviver

Same recipe as the Exoneration à la Louisiane, but goes by this alias when served after the Lethal Injection Drug Cocktail as a chaser or a hair-of-the-dog remedy.

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