Food

Margaritas and more: KLG & Jenna enjoy creative cocktails from award-winning bartender

All week long, Abigail Gullo, all-star bartender at Compère Lapin in New Orleans, has been crafting up custom new NOLA-inspired cocktails for Kathie Lee and Jenna — including her sassy take on a Sazerac and a wine-infused Mai Tai. And we've got all the recipes for her creative concoctions right here — just in time for some weekend celebrating. Cheers!

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Sassy Sazerac

This is my twist on the official cocktail of New Orleans: a bright-red, short, strong drink that will send you back to the 19th century!

Ingredients:

1 ounce cognac

1 ounce rye

1/4 ounce cane syrup

10 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters

Absinthe rinse (a method for coating the inside of a glass with absinthe, then discarding the excess liquid, and pouring the drink into it)

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and serve up in a glass (rinsed with absinthe) on the rocks with a lemon twist garnish.

Rock Yer Fella, Mary

This is a Mexican-inspired take on the brunch-favorite Bloody Mary. But this version uses smoky mezcal and tequila instead of vodka.

Ingredients:

1 ounce tequila

1 ounce mezcal

4 ounces tomato juice

1 teaspoon Crystal hot sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon horseradish

1 teaspoon Compère Lapin spice mix (you can substitute with black pepper, garlic powder and celery salt)

Preparation:

Stir all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with pickles, olives, celery — whatever you have on hand!

Tai One On

This wino take on a Mai Tai was created for the TODAY Show wine lovers for Winesday Wednesday!

4 ounces Pinot Grigio

1/2 ounce orgeat

1/2 ounce dry curacao

3/4 ounce lime

Preparation:

Shake and strain ingredients into a wine glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a curled pineapple rind, mint sprigs and an orange slice.

Luscious Lavender Mint Margarita

Ingredients:

This margarita won me the award for best cocktail at Tales of the Cocktail in 2010. It's a lavender-mint margarita inspired by the garden my grandma kept.

2 ouncez blanco tequila

1 ounce lime juice

3/4 ounce lavender syrup

3-4 sprigs fresh mint leaves

Preparation:

To make the lavender syrup, just cook lavender buds (1/4 cup) in 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water until sugar dissolves over low heat. Strain out the buds and chill.

Shake tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup with mint leaves and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh lavender and mint.

Gentleman Caller

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

This beautiful martini variation is elegant and refined — and equally desired by all who love a great cocktail.

Ingredients:

1 ounce gin

1 ounce fino sherry

1/2 ounce Aperol

1/2 ounce Génépy

6 drops Burlesque Bitters

Preparation:

Stir all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. When cold, serve in a martini glass garnished with a lemon twist.

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