The Holy Water is the flagship cocktail at Seaworthy, in the Ace Hotel in New Orleans. Created by beverage consultant Lauren Schell, the drink is served table-side in a custom tarot glass from local shop Flambeauxs. It sees Hamilton Jamaican gold rum steeped with golden raisins, orange peels, vanilla bean, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and other spices, then shaken with Maison rouge cognac, lemon, lime and grapefruit juices, with a float of Angostura bitters on top. A half-lime garnish filled with green Chartreuse and a sugar cube is then lit table-side, caramelizing the sugar and releasing aromas of citrus, herbs and spice. Paying a little extra means that guests get to leave with the glass in hand.
“The fire caramelizes the sugar, giving the drink depth and added richness,” says Schell. “It’s a crucial element of balance, in addition to being eye-catching and purposefully interactive.”
“The Holy Water is interesting because you have a blend of citrus, almond, french oak, spiced rum, and herbs from the flamed Chartreuse,” says Seaworthy’s beverage director, Matt Ray. “It’s a classic tiki drink in the sense that as the layers interact and the ice melts, the cocktail actively changes. It rewards you for taking your time.”
Infusing the rum with all the required botanicals makes a lot of sense for the crew at Seaworthy, who sell multiple glasses of it a night. For home bartenders, though, it can be a bit overkill. For those looking for the Holy Water experience but not able to go through the process of infusing rum, it is acceptable to substitute El Dorado spiced rum. It won’t be the exact experience, but it will be delicious all the same.
- 1 ounce infused Hamilton Jamaican gold rum or El Dorado five-year-old rum*
- 1 ounce Maison rouge cognac
- 3/4 ounce orgeat
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters, to float
- Garnish: 1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
- Garnish: lime half
- Garnish: sugar cube
Add all ingredients except the bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice.
Float the bitters over the top of the drink.
Juice half a lime and place the empty lime shell on top of drink.
Pour the Chartreuse into the lime shell. Place a sugar cube in the lime and ignite with a match or lighter.
*Infused rum: In a 750 milliliter bottle of Hamilton Jamaican gold rum or El Dorado five-year-old rum, steep 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1 vanilla bean (scraped out), 1 tablespoon cloves, 1 whole cinnamon stick, 3 crushed cardamom pods and 1 tablespoon allspice berries for 48 hours, then strain. Alternately, you can just use El Dorado spiced rum.