I have the greatest admiration for anyone who has the courage to work behind a bar. While the gig may sound enticing (after all, the bar professional is always a key part of the festivities)  it’s a lot of effort not to mention the mental demands. 

Then there’s the need for a knowledge of the breadtth of many products, each with its own character and place in the pantheon of available choices. 

The demands of the modern cocktail making craft are supported with a variety of aids, not the least of which is easy access to historical information available on any computer including the personal cell phone which it is fair to say, everyone possesses. 

That is why I was surprised to be asked from the central figure of two upscale bars this week who to construct my drink order. In all fairness to the cocktail maker behind the bar, what I was asking for is a mixed drink no longer at the top of anyone’s list. But to ask the server to go to the customer and ask for the list of included ingredients and  mixing directions, well, my experience is that never works.  Now you have two unfamiliar people in the line of communications. 

If you are the mixolosgist or even the server in a bar, download or purchase a hard copy of a cocktail recipe book. The trusted classic is the Mr. Boston: Official Bartender’s Guide. Less than $7 in hard copy or as an app. Keep it handy and refer to it often. 

As to the drink request that I made and could not be bulfilled, I asked fr a Roffignac. An historic cocktail created in New Orleans around 1885. The drink is actually a derivative of the Sazerac with Cognac as its core spirit. I actually was not surprised the professional behind the bar did not know how to make it. The cocktail is on its way to being fortotten. It’s a very good drink and I don’t want it to be considered “lost.” 

The drink, for some reason, is named after Louis Philippe de Roffignac who served as Mayor of New Orleans, 1820-1828. He was the last French-speaking Mayor of New Orleans and accomplished the installation of street lighting throughout the City. There really is no accepted reason why the cocktail was named after him, but so be it. 

The cocktail is simple to make and quite tasty. Makes for a good change of pace it you are fan of sweet concoctions. This one does not fit that category. 


  • 3/4oz VSOP Cognac
  • 1oz Raspberry shrub
  • 3/4oz VSOP Cognac
  • Club Soda


  • Mix the shrub and the Cognac in a Highball glass filled with ice.
  • Top with club soda and stir.
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries!

While this low-ingredient may cause you to purchase an indredeint or two, I can assure they will not go to waste. Enjoy the cocktail and learn a bit more about New Orleans history.