February means the return of Mardi Gras, and the return of Mardi Gras means the return of Bellwether Bon Temps! Our yearly celebration of New Orleans cuisine, cocktails, and culture takes place Feb. 14 - Feb. 26. This year’s celebration is even more exciting because Toledo Spirits is being joined by the other From Toledo teams and venues to include even more amazing food, coffee, and entertainment to this year’s festivities. Check out all of the delicious and fun ways to celebrate this month!
What We're Drinking
Hurricane (Bon Temps #2)
The Hurricane, originally created to use an excess of rum in post Prohibition bars, has evolved to become one of the most iconic party drinks of all time! This boozy mix of rums, passion fruit, and citrus is consistently our most popular cocktail during Bon Temps. Each year the beverage team at Bellwether makes some adjustments to the recipe, with the goal of making an even better version than the previous year’s. This recipe is derived from one of the first Bon Temps menu and is notable for it’s exotic rum blend and the use of King & Dane Farmhouse. Try this version at home and then visit us during Bon Temps and see how this year’s version stacks up!
- ½ oz Heart of Glass Strawberry Vodka
½ oz King & Dane Farmhouse Rum
½ oz Plantation 3-Star
½ oz Smith & Cross
½ oz Plantation Pineapple
1 oz Passoa Passion Fruit Liqueur
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz almond orgeat (or simple syrup in a pinch)
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled glass. Top with tonic water and garnish with citrus wheels and cherries.
Events and Excuses to Celebrate
In Any Event
Feb. 3 - Barrel-Aged Spirits Tasting & Tour
Kick off your weekend with a tour of the Toledo Spirits campus and enjoy a curated tasting of our house made craft spirits, with a special focus on our barrel-aged offerings. Enjoy the new Vistula Single Malt Whiskey, Orange Tiger, and selections from our Whiskey Tango Foxtrot series, as well as some of our other favorites like Heart of Glass Strawberry Vodka and King & Dane Coffee Liqueur.
Feb. 12 - Super Bowl Sunday
Whether you’re a passionate football fan, or you just want to see the halftime show and commercials, we fully support any gathering that revolves around cocktails and consuming as much buffalo chicken dip as possible.
Feb. 14 - Valentine’s Day
In addition to the kick-off of Bellwether Bon Temps, Tues. Feb. 14th is also Valentine’s Day. Enjoy some Heart of Glass Vodka at home, grab cocktails at Bellwether, or join our Tiki Cocktail Tasting & Workshop and enjoy a curated selection of tropical cocktails!
Feb. 14 - Bellwether Bon Temps Begins
We kick off our New Orleans pop-up with creole jazz from Dave Kosmyna and the 2023 version of the iconic Hurricane. Be the first to try Chef Lawson’s etoufee and blue crab and corn grit fritters!
Feb. 16 - Mardi Gras Painting Workshop & Cocktail Tasting
Join us for a special Mardi Gras edition of our popular painting events with Wine & Canvas! Guests will paint their own New Orleans themed mini-painting and enjoy a curated cocktail tasting featuring some of New Orleans’ most famous cocktails. Tickets available here.
Feb. 17 - Tasters Choice w. DJs Mattimoe & Folk
DJs Mattimoe and Folk bring the sounds of Bourbon Street to Summit Street with an evening of music deigned as the perfect complement to enjoying the cocktails and cuisine of New Orleans.
Feb. 19 - Sunday Jazz w. Damen Cook
We keep the good times rolling with an evening of jazz. Enjoy some of Chef Lawson’s amazing food features, a cocktail, and some live music to close out your week.
Feb. 21 - Fat Tuesday
Fat Tuesday is the ultimate Mardi Gras event, and in true form, the ultimate night to enjoy Bellwether Bon Temps! The Hurricanes will be flowing, and Dave Kosmyna will provide the perfect jazz soundtrack to enjoy them.
Feb. 26 - Last Day Of Bellwether Bon Temps
We close out our New Orleans pop-up with an evening of jazz with Damen Cook. Come enjoy one more muffuletta sandwich and French 75!
Highlights from our family of brands
In the Spirit
The From Toledo Teams Bring Bourbon Street To Summit, Adams, & Collingwood
Bellwether Bon Temps at Toledo Spirits isn’t the only way to enjoy the flavors and culture of Mardi Gras this month! Black Kite Coffee, Fowl & Fodder, HEAVY Underground, and HEAVY Wheelhouse will all be getting in the act with special menus and features Feb. 14- Feb. 26
Black Kite Coffee - 2499 Collingwood Blvd, Toledo, OH 43620
In addition to their delicious variety of coffee drinks, bagel bombs, and wine, Black Kite will have three featured New Orleans themed beverages, a King Cake Latte, a Hurricane inspired Italian soda, and a Green Fairy Match Tea featuring flavors reminiscent of Absinthe.
Fowl & Fodder - 614 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604
Chef Lawson’s amazing Bon Temps menu will also be featured at Fowl & Fodder! Enjoy New Orleans classics like Etoufee (with your choice of protein) and Muffuletta sandwiches, as well as reimagined riffs on classics like Blue Crab and Corn Grit Fritters and King Cake Style Doughnuts.
HEAVY Underground - 1301 N Summit St, Toledo, OH 43604
Enjoy Creole Spiced Chicken Wings with delicious beer made on site, or bring down your Hurricane from Bellwether and play some pinball in Mr. Wonderful’s Pinball Palace!
HEAVY Wheelhouse - 3520 Waterville Swanton Rd, Swanton, OH 43558
Not only can you enjoy the Black Kite Coffee drink specials and HEAVY beer out at Oak Openings, but you can also burn off all of those Hurricane and King Cake Doughnut calories on the mountain bike trails and skills course.
Fun reads about spirits, beer, coffee, and food
Got Twelve Minutes To Spare?
If you do, you have just enough time to shake a Ramos Gin Fizz! This New Orleans classic is unlikely to appear on any Bon Temps menu, entirely becasue of the shake time of 2-12 minutes. Delicious, but utterly impractical, make your own Ramos Gin Fizz and feel free to sub in some East Side Gin!
Why Is There A Baby In This Cake?
Full disclosure, Chef Lawson’s King Cake Dougnuts contain ZERO plastic babies. A traditional New Orleans King Cake does though. Learn about the origins of this strange Mardi Gras tradition here. If for some reason you do find one, that means you have to throw the next party!
Why Is New Orleans Responsible For So Much Amazing Food, Drinks, & Culture?
The confluence of a variety of cultures makes New Orleans the ultimate melting pot. French, Spanish, Carribean, and Native American influences (amongst others) can be found everywhere in the city. From the music and architecture, to the city’s famous cuisine and drinks, New Orleans has been a hub for some of the most interesting American culture for decades. Check out this article to explore the rich history of what makes the city so unique.
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