(Originally published October 23, 2017)
The Placeholder Cocktail from Trinity Restaurant in New Orleans uses Cimarrón tequila, Pamplemousse, Granny Sherry, lemon, and a La Source Cabernet Float.
Madame Begue invented the concept of the meal “brunch” in New Orleans in the 1870s. It all started when the dock workers who were working in the Quarter overnight were getting off from work later in the morning – after the traditional breakfast time, but before lunch – and needed a meal. Madame Begue served a “second breakfast” to those starving workers at 11 AM.
When tourists arrived in New Orleans in 1884 for the Cotton Centennial, Begue’s became a popular spot and the idea of “brunch” really took off.
Madame Begue became one of the first celebrity chefs in New Orleans and published a cookbook in 1900 called Madame Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery. The great Poppy Tooker re-released the book and updated the recipes for the modern world in 2012 by Pelican Publishing.
It’s a great cookbook and I’ve done a book review on it in the past. If you have a Creole, New Orleans, Louisiana cookbook collection like I do, you’ll enjoy this one, for sure!
And once Begue’s caught on, other restaurants sprang up around New Orleans based on that breakfast and late-breakfast meals concept.
In 1906, she passed away, and Begue’s was closed for a time. In 1914, Begue’s was sold to the owner of Tujague’s Restaurant, who operated out of a building a few doors down. Tujague’s moved operations into the “old” Begue’s spot and they continued to serve brunch in that famous location until only recently (2020) when they moved to 429 Decatur Street – where Bubba Gumps used to be.
The history of restaurants on Decatur Street restaurants comes and goes. Tujague’s, known for the famous brunches, is the exception, not the rule. And just because brunch was invented on that street doesn’t mean it will always work on that street.
Enter Trinity Restaurant in 2016.
Hugh Uhalt took over the spot that was once Maximo’s at 117 Decatur Street. He brought in chef Michael Isolani to lead the kitchen. Trinity was considered an upscale restaurant that served a modern twist on Creole cuisine along with other traditional American foods.
The restaurant also featured a bar. They brought in Adam Orzechowski as the beverage director and they placed him in charge of the extensive wine list, cocktails, and other fine drinks.
Trinity was also based on the brunch concept and the restaurant became a fairly popular spot for breakfast and brunch, but the concept never really stuck in the tourist part of the Quarter. In 2019, Uhalt decided to close the restaurant for good.
However, before they closed, in the summer of 2017, Orzechowski – well his “people” – sent me the recipe for the popular Placeholder cocktail to help celebrate National Tequila Day – which is July 24 if it’s not already circled on your calendar.
What’s in the Placeholder Cocktail?
The drink uses a mix of Cimarrón tequila, Pamplemousse, Granny Sherry, lemon, and a La Source Cabernet Float, and is served on the rocks in a fine rocks glass.
What are Some Cocktails from New Orleans?
- Wolf in Lambs Clothing Cocktail
- Casserole Cocktail
- Underberg Sour Cocktail
- Thyme is on My Side Cocktail
- Ojen Cocktail
Trinty Restaurant may be gone, but you can still enjoy a glass of the Placeholder cocktail at home for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or anywhere in between.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comment section below. Also, let me know if you ever ate at Trinity Restaurant – bonus points if you ever had the Placeholder cocktail at the bar!
- 1.5 oz Cimarrón Tequila
- .5 oz Pamplemousse liqueur
- .75 oz Grany Sherry
- 1 oz lemon juice
- La Source Cabernet Float
Mix first four ingredients in shaker with ice. Pour in rocks glass and top with Cabernet floater.
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Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.
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