“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” a mainstay mantra of Mardi Gras, is French for “Let the good times roll!” Mardi Gras is known for the good times – the drinks, the food, parades and beads (if you know what I mean!). With Mardi Gras just around the corner, we’re here to give you some great party tips to help you celebrate this iconic holiday, whether you’re making the trip to New Orleans or celebrating with friends at home.
Here are our Mardi Gras tips and Man Hacks for eating and drinking like a true New-Orlinean:
1. Hangover Cure
This hack is first for a reason. Mardi Gras drinks are great, but they have a lot of sugar – and you’ll have a lot of them. So you need to be prepared to fight off the impending hangover.
No matter where you are, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be hungover after the copious amounts of drinking associated with Mardi Gras celebrations. So when that hangover hits, water might help – but Pedialyte will help even more. It’s designed to hydrate babies but also helps adults who have been acting like large babies. This wonder beverage has the same combo of minerals and electrolytes that exist naturally in your body, so it’s ideal to get you back up and running in no time.
Additional hangover help: After chugging some Pedialyte, jump in a cold shower and lather yourself up with a bar of Crisp IPA. It’s like curing yourself with the tried and true method hair of the dog, but actually good for you.
2. De-Foam Beer
Agreed upon facts of life: everyone likes foamy, sudsy soap. No one likes foamy beer.
Whether you’re bumming at home or partying on Bourbon street, here’s an easy way to make sure your beer tastes as good as nature intended: pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over the top of your beer – it doesn’t change the taste at all and the foam will be gone in no time.
3. Hurricane Hack
The Hurricane is a classic New Orleans drink, famously served at Pat O’Brien’s bar on Bourbon Street. The classic recipe calls for mixing rum and passionfruit juice. But honestly, these drinks taste great pretty much no matter what you put in them – they’re basically a post-college Jungle Juice. You can sub any fruit juice that you have on hand for the passionfruit juice.
Our favorite? A mix of lemonade, orange juice and cranberry juice. No one will know the difference.
4. Make a Mint Julip with the Clap of Your Hands
The ultimate Mardi Gras refresher? The Mint Julep. Nothing tastes better while you’re pushing through a crowd in the French Quarter in 85 degree, 98% humidity weather.
Classically, Mint Julep recipes demand that you crush the mint leaves into a pulp. But all that effort can actually ruin flavor and make your mint taste bitter. To keep the flavor fresh and minty, clap your mint between your hands a few times. Clapping releases the essential oils without bruising the leaves and keeps them fresh and flavorful.
5. King Cake in Minutes
If you haven’t heard of King Cakes before, the tradition is sort of bizarre. The King Cake is a delicate French pastry that can be found in essentially every bakery and supermarket in New Orleans as soon as Mardi Gras gets close. They’re decorated with gold, green and purple frosting or sprinkles and they have a little plastic baby hidden inside. Yes, you heard me right. I’m not sure why, but it’s the tradition.
The good thing is that you can make a cheap, quick version pretty quickly. Make (or buy) your favorite cake and just spread the yellow, green and gold frosting on it in sections. Props if you include the plastic baby, but on the off chance that you don’t have one on hand, you can just sub a maraschino cherry or another small fruit to serve that purpose.