What to Bring to a Mardi Gras Party

If you’re wondering what to bring to a Mardi Gras party, let’s first remember why we’re celebrating. People ring in the holiday (which, fun fact, is a legal holiday only in Louisiana) on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday as a way to close out the pre-Lenten season. Given that it is a pre-Lent celebration and Lent is when people kick things like junk food and booze until Easter arrives, you should definitely plan on bringing some indulgent foods while you can still enjoy them. These are some of the richest foods and fanciest drinks to bring to a Mardi Gras party, beside the king cake.

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Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix

Unless you spend a lot of time down New Orleans way, you probably aren’t guzzling Hurricanes on the regular. That they’re sort of a rarity makes these sweet passion fruit-and-rum drinks even more fun. Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart tried the two big brands of Hurricane mix on the market (the other one is Franco’s, if you prefer a powdered mix), and Pat O’Brien’s came out on top. “It’s saccharine, it’s red, it tastes like something you’ll regret drinking tomorrow, but in a fun way,” Gwynedd wrote. “I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint the flavor of passion fruit in either mix, but I’m not an expert either. If you’re celebrating Mardi Gras, order a couple of bottles of the best Hurricane mix out there: Pat O’Brien’s.” Just make sure you Uber to the party.

Abita Strawberry Lager

Nothing says Mardi Gras like an ice-cold Abita beer. Now, you’re probably thinking about Purple Haze right off the bat, but we have a different thought for you: Abita Strawberry Lager. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling tried every Abita beer she could get her hands on here in L.A. and this berry-tinged beer was her surprise favorite. “I love this beer,” Justine wrote. “It has a bright and fruity nose. And the flavor is the perfect balance of lager and tangy, not-too-sweet strawberry flavor. I could drink this all day—starting with brunch.” Don’t worry, party people will be into it at night, too.

Zapp’s Voodoo Chips

Zapp’s potato chips may be made by a Pennsylvania company now, but they’ve been a Louisiana classic since the ’80s—and their unique, spicy flavors make them a Mardi Gras-party must. The brand’s Voodoo flavor was reportedly created by accident, and it’s definitely a happy one. They’re sweet, tangy, and just a little bit smoky—they reminded Gwynedd of a vinegary, almost Carolina-style BBQ sauce. “Every single chip is like eating an entire meal,” she wrote. This is also the chip of choice of Mythical Kitchen‘s Nicole Enayati. See, you’re in good company.

Kirkland Signature Premium Margarita Cocktail Mix

What if you get to the party and they’ve run out of mixers? Well, bring this big ol’ bottle of margarita mix and the party is back in biz. Justine tasted a bunch of margarita mixes, and Kirkland Margarita Cocktail Mix was the best margarita mix she tried. It’s on the sweeter side, but that that’s okay because that sweetness serves to “balance out the alcohol of the tequila.” It’s perfect for tequila lovers and tequila haters alike.

Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind

I tried this at a party once and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. This vodka has a nice, spicy kick that pairs well with Tajín because of its sweet and tangy tamarind flavor. Pop some of this in a popsicle mold mixed with chamoy and Tajín, and I guarantee these festive boozy pops will be the talk of the party (and the next party after that and…).

Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Spread

It’s pure CHEESE!! What could be more indulgent than that? In Justine’s review of this spread, she gave it high marks (9.5 out of 10 Sporks). It is an excellent sharp cheddar-esque spread that’s tangy and creamy all at once. She also informed us that this spread would go great on a variety of things like sliced apples, a sandwich, crackers, or a “fistful of sprouts.” Okay, maybe no one wants to eat a fistful of sprouts at a Mardi Gras party, so you could spring for some of these puppies, too.

Fudge Brownie M&M’s

I whole-heartedly believe that Fudge Brownie M&M’s are the most indulgent M&M’s. Each one is like a mini candy-coated cake pop. “They actually managed to channel the flavor of a baked good into a tiny morsel that adds chew and a deeper chocolatey flavor to the entire candy,” Gwynedd wrote in her ranking of the best M&M’s flavors. If you bring a giant share-sized bag of these to a Mardi Gras party, people planning on kicking chocolate for lent will thank you.

About the Author

Naajia Shukri

Naajia Shukri is the legit biggest fan of candy corn. She is interested in all things food, art, and beauty. After living in Korea for the past two years, she has gotten back to her L.A. roots, frequenting thrift stores and art museums.

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