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Lafitte’s Best

America's Independence Saved by a Cunning Pirate ...

A decorated American general and a Louisiana French pirate seem unlikely partners in arms. However, that’s just what Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte were in The War of 1812 and the resulting Battle of New Orleans, a conflict that ensured America retained her fledgling independence from England.

America, barely 30 years old, was under threat from British forces who strategized invading from the south would secure victory. For success, they needed someone who knew the complex bayous well–they turned to Lafitte.

The pirate, who dressed and spoke as a gentleman, preferred to be called a privateer. He’d amassed large stores of arms, gunpowder, flints and cannonballs–desperately needed by the Americans–and orchestrated a clever double cross. When the smoke settled, the British had suffered almost 2,500 casualties to America’s 333.

President James Madison pardoned Lafitte and his men for their smuggling crimes, and in 1816, they relocated to Galveston, where the corsair prospered again.

In honor of my favorite war hero buccaneer, I went on a Galveston quest to find the perfect pirates’ punch. Although pirates have a reputation of drinking rum straight from rather questionable-looking bottles, I’d like to think that when entertaining, the handsome Lafitte would have stepped it up a notch.

Lafitte’s Best

½ cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

1/8 cup Dekuyper Crème de Banana

1/8 cup Dekuyper Peach Schnapps

1 cup V8 Splash Island Strawberry

1/3 cup Dole pineapple juice

Mix in a pretty glass pitcher and serve over ice. Be creative and garnish the glass with sliced pineapple, kiwi or a strawberry. Enjoy, but note: drunken swashbucklers often found themselves shanghaied.

Happy Fourth of July!


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