New Orleans is a great and unique American city, and the French Quarter is the most popular part of it. Among other things, the Quarter is home to my favorite restaurant in New Orleans (Antoine's),the world famous Bourbon Street, a plethora of great watering holes, wonderful architecture, and the Tales Of The Cocktail conference.
If you're like me and took French in high school, you might pronounce this cocktail as "veeyuh kahray." Don't. Instead, pronounce it like a local as "vookaray." Trust me on this, as I am someone who is multilingual, in that I've massacred dialects all around the U.S. and languages all around the world.
So how do you make this Crescent City beauty?
.75 ounces rye
.75 ounces brandy or cognac
.75 ounces sweet vermouth (go with Carpano Antica)
1 teaspoon Benedictine DOM
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine a shaker with ice, stir with the passion you will experience if (when?) you spend some time in the Quarter, and strain into a chilled glass.
Sharp eyed (or sharp livered?) followers of the Den will see that this cocktail is a very rough cross between two classic old school cocktails -- the Manhattan and the Sazerac. It combines liquors and bitters from both drinks. If you like the Manhattan, the Sazerac, or both, odds are you'll like the Vieux Carre. As with many other cocktails, you can adjust the proportions to accommodate your taste. So have the liquid essence of New Orleans, and laissez les bon temps roule!