Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where to Drink Cocktails in New Orleans

Being the home of Tales of the Cocktails and where quite a few classic cocktails were invented, New Orleans is obviously a promising place to grab some cocktails! Thanks to the recent Chowzter North American Awards, which was held in NOLA, I was able to hit up a few bars in this great city.

Now, this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but it's a good place to start!

The first bar I had to try was of course the new tiki bar from the prolific cocktail writer, Beachbum Berry:

Latitude 29
321 N Peters St
Untitled A tiki bar, naturally, and one of the best. The cocktail menu is divided into short, long, and communal drinks. Professor Remsberg's Punch came highly recommended, made with "fine old Guadeloupe rum", lime, and "a Caribbean spiced syrup discovered over 30 years ago in San Juan by the Professor himself". Beloved tiki classics like Mai Tai and Missionary's Downfall are obviously on there, as well.
They also serve food like loco moco and dumplings, but I didn't get a chance to try any. They serve food until 10pm and cocktails until 11pm nightly, which is pretty early for NOLA.

by the way, don't you love that rowing Moai stirrer?
Cane and Table
1113 Decatur St
Cane and Table
Another tiki bar? Not so. Their cocktails are what they've coined "proto-tiki" which are the drinks that inspired classic tiki. Apparently, tiki took off towards the end of World War II and the drinks Cane and Table serves before that - before 1934, to be exact, since that's when the world's first tiki bar opened (Don the Beachcomber in LA!). Pictured above is the Old Smuggler's Awaken, a light flip made with Dutch gin, whole egg, lemon oil, and Angostura bitters.

French 75
813 Bienville Ave
How can I miss such a historic bar, which dates back to the 1800s as a "gentleman only" club? The namesake drink is also the most expensive on the list, thanks to the use of Moet et Chandon for the champagne.

Bar Tonique
820 N Rampart St
A dive bar known for its Brandy Milk Punch, they also make other great classics including Sazeracs and Old Fashioneds. It's diviest of the bars with worn out stools, but don't let that stop you from grabbing a great cocktail ("without the pretense") or something from their great selection of beers and whiskies.

Commander's Palace
1403 Washington Ave
This one's a bit out of the way if you're hanging near the French Quarter and Commander's is a fancy sit down restaurant, so it's a little hard to come here for drinks. But if you happen to be dining in (Commander's Palace is a highly recommended fine dining experience), get either a cocktail from the owners' book, In the Land of Cocktails, or ask for a variation on a classic. I ended up getting a French Sazerac (a Sazerac using cognac).

There are, of course, other bars that you should hit up that I didn't get a chance to, like Carousel Bar and a ton others. And I do mean a ton. I like this list from Thrillist, that I'm bookmarking for my next trip.


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