Gillian White Wins Vinexpo Paris Competition

By Neat Pour Staff |

Congratulations to Gillian White of New Orleans’ Meauxbar. White’s liquid homage to both NOLA and Paris, Maid of Orléans, took first prize in Vinexpo Paris’ new cocktail competition.

The Maid of Orleans is basically a sidecar riff composed with Armagnac, Pineau des Charentes, lemon juice, orgeat, Grappa, and bitters. The drink features notes of cinnamon and almond, rounded out with bright citrus, a hint of apple and light toast from the base spirit, Armagnac.

In keeping with Vinexpo Paris’ challenge to express the show’s culture in drink, White turned to grape based spirits as well as a little inspiration from her home.

The titular ‘Maid of Orléans’ is a reference to Joan of Arc who reins as the patron saint of both Orléans, France and New Orleans, Louisiana. In the Crescent City, Joan is celebrated via an annual parade held to kick off Carnival, a night known as ‘King’s Night’.

Accordingly, White’s drink plays upon a traditional confection of the Mardi Gras season, ’King Cake’ (or Galette de Rois). The King Cake is thought to have been brought to New Orleans via France in 1870, where to this day, they both continue to be symbols of celebration. The throughly modern Maid employs King Cake’s 150-year-old flavor profile of cinnamon, sugar, and apple.

“I really enjoyed the creative challenge of this competition. Creating a “King Cake” cocktail was a fun way for me to pull inspiration from traditions of two cities that I love dearly; while also highlighting a range of some of my favorite grape-based spirits,” White told Neat Pour. “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to compete, and now head to Paris to experience Vinexpo.”

White’s prize includes a trip to Paris to check out Vinexpo Paris from February 10-12.

Check out the recipe below.

Maid of Orléans

Print Recipe
Maid of Orléans
  1. Prepare a coupe for service by half rimming with golden sugar.
  2. Combine ingredients in a tin. Shake.
  3. Double strain into the coupe with a half golden sugar rim.
  4. Express lemon over rim and discard.
  5. Garnish with baby/fève of your choice!
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