Home Travel 7 Best New Orleans Cocktails (+The place to Drink Them)

7 Best New Orleans Cocktails (+The place to Drink Them)

7 Best New Orleans Cocktails (+The place to Drink Them)

When it comes to the very best cities for cocktails, it’s arduous to high New Orleans. In spite of everything, the motto of the Large Straightforward is “Laissez les bon temps rouler” — “Let the great instances roll.”

These good instances are fueled largely by booze, thanks to the abundance of fantastic New Orleans cocktails.

I typically complain about my residence nation’s uptight consuming legal guidelines, however fortunately these puritan guidelines exit the window within the Large Straightforward.

Right here you may drink in public, bars can keep open 24/7, and there are even drive-thru locations for frozen daiquiris.

tropical isle bar on bourbon street new orleans where to grab a cocktail

Talking of partying, I most not too long ago visited town throughout our year-long occasion celebration There are such a lot of New Orleans festivals and occasions!

Relaxation assured that I did some high quality analysis so as to current you with a number of the finest cocktails in New Orleans.

On this article, I’ll run the gamut from the fashionable to the debaucherous, which may often be completed in half a metropolis block right here.

There are such a lot of enjoyable issues to do in New Orleans (don’t miss the swamp excursions), and for those who fancy an grownup beverage if you journey, you’re going to love visiting the Large Straightforward.

Learn on for a take a look at a number of the finest New Orleans cocktails and suggestions on the very best bars to get them.

Questioning the place to keep in New Orleans? Don’t miss our epic information to the very best Bourbon Road resorts and knowledge on staying within the French Quarter.

1. Sazerac: The Official Cocktail of New Orleans


  • Herbsaint
  • Bitters
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Sugar Dice
  • Lemon Wedge

In fact, we’ve got to kick off our listing of the very best New Orleans drinks with the unique.

Some truly declare this to be the oldest cocktail in america, because it dates all the way in which again to the 1830s. As with many issues in New Orleans, there’s an fascinating backstory behind this traditional drink.

Because the story goes, a Creole man named Antoine Peychaud got here up with the recipe. He was the proprietor of an apothecary and an enormous fan of a model of French brandy known as Sazerac-de-Forge et fils.

After hours, he would serve up a mix of the cognac together with his personal home-made bitters. He served the drinks in an egg cup referred to as a “coquetier.” Some imagine to be the origin of the phrase “cocktail,” however apparently that’s a tall story.

Whereas historians could debate whether or not or not this was truly America’s first cocktail, one factor is for positive — the Sazerac was a direct hit.

A saloon named Sazerac Espresso Home began shopping for Peychaud’s Bitters and combined them with the cognac and sugar. The brand new cocktail was the speak of the city and was immensely standard.

A couple of a long time later, the primary ingredient modified from cognac to American rye whiskey.

This was due to an epidemic in Europe that destroyed most of the vineyards in France. With out grapes, individuals turned to grain alcohol like whiskey. One other change to the recipe got here shortly thereafter when bartenders added a touch of absinthe.

Issues have been going nice for the Sazerac till absinthe was banned in 1912 as a result of it was thought to trigger hallucinations.

Bartenders changed the banned booze with anise-flavored liqueurs. The commonest was Herbsaint, which was made proper in New Orleans. It’s nonetheless used to today, alongside Peychaud’s Bitters and Sazerac Kentucky Rye Whiskey. Add in a sugar dice and a lemon wedge as a garnish and also you’ve acquired an official Sazerac!

sazerac cocktail in new orleans

The Sazerac is so essential {that a} Louisiana state senator even tried to have it declared the state’s official cocktail. Whereas this wasn’t accepted, his efforts weren’t in useless. It’s now the official cocktail of town of New Orleans.

You possibly can order up a Sazerac throughout New Orleans, however the very best place to have one is certainly the Sazerac Bar. In spite of everything, it’s proper there within the title.

This bar is positioned within the Roosevelt Resort (click on right here for instructions). Different standard spots to do that traditional New Orleans drink embody Sylvain Tavern and Arnaud’s French 75.

For those who’re excited by experiencing these bars with a enjoyable and educated native, try this strolling and consuming tour. 4 cocktails are included in 4 totally different bars, plus an informative information.  

2. Hurricane: Considered one of The Best New Orleans Cocktails for Rum Lovers


  • Rum
  • Passionfruit Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Easy Syrup
  • Grenadine
  • Garnish

What’s the hottest cocktail in New Orleans? Lately, one of many quintessential New Orleans cocktails is a Hurricane.

It’s most likely the most well-liked cocktail within the metropolis for guests, who get pleasure from slurping one among these potent concoctions as they stumble alongside Bourbon Road.

The Hurricane drink dates again to the 1940s and the post-prohibition period. Native tavern proprietor Pat O’Brien invented the drink when he wanted to eliminate a bunch of rum. You could be questioning why he had an extra provide of rum. In fact, there’s a narrative behind that as properly!

You see, rum was one of many least standard liquors on the time. O’Brien’s distributors pressured circumstances of rum on him earlier than they might promote him extra standard liquors like scotch. He determined to whip up a concoction of rum with ardour fruit and lemon juice.

The drinks have been served in hurricane lamp-shaped glasses, and thus the Hurricane was born.

The recipe remains to be mainly the identical in any case these years, and Hurricanes now embody a garnish of an orange slice and a cherry or two.

Pat O’Brien’s bar remains to be a mainstay within the metropolis and is the highest place to strive the well-known Hurricane drink (click on right here for instructions). As well as to their signature Hurricanes, you may also get pleasure from dueling piano music as you sit by their flaming fountain.

hurricane drink in new orleans

Because you’re in New Orleans, you would possibly as properly make the most of the truth that you may drink in public and order daiquiris from a drive-thru.

Go forward and seize a Hurricane to-go for a wander up Bourbon Road. You may also strive one of many frozen varieties from a drive-thru. When in Rome!

3. Brandy Milk Punch: Best Brunch Drink


  • Brandy
  • Milk
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Nutmeg

Our tour of New Orleans cocktails strikes on – or ought to I say “stumbles on”? – to Brandy Milk Punch. The Large Straightforward didn’t invent this traditional cocktail, however the metropolis undoubtedly perfected it. As soon as once more, there’s numerous historical past behind the drink.

The story of Brandy Milk Punch in New Orleans goes again to the late 1940s. On the time, Dinner at Antoine’s was a preferred homicide thriller. The title got here from an area restaurant, which was the setting of the story.

The house owners of Antoine’s and several other different eating places and bars would typically collect to play poker.

Owen Brennan owned a bar on Bourbon Road on the time, and the opposite guys made a wager with him that he couldn’t open a restaurant. A good friend remarked to him “If there’s dinner at Antoine’s, why can’t there be breakfast at Brennan’s?” 

Now we have this interplay to thank for the beloved modern-day custom of brunch. The thought of a late and lavish breakfast full with cocktails began at Brennan’s in New Orleans.

With a necessity for eye-opening cocktails, Brennan went with Brandy Milk Punch. As you might have guessed by now, the important thing substances are in actual fact brandy and milk!

Add powdered sugar (or easy syrup) and a touch of nutmeg on high, and also you’ve acquired among the best cocktails in New Orleans.

eating at brennan's in new orleans
Vacationers exterior of Brennan’s

Not surprisingly, Brennan’s stays the highest place to strive Brandy Milk Punch (click on right here for instructions).

You would possibly as properly go forward and do the entire brunch factor there throughout your weekend in New Orleans, as many say that for those who haven’t had brunch at Brennan’s, you haven’t actually been to town.

For a distinct spin on this drink, head to Bourbon Home to strive their frozen Bourbon Milk Punch.

  • RELATED POST: Need to get your “brunch on” in different cities within the US? Listed here are a number of the finest locations to eat in Chicago, together with breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. 

4. Ramos Gin Fizz: A Cocktail for Gin Lovers


  • Gin
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Flower Water
  • Egg Whites
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk

The Ramos Gin Fizz is without doubt one of the most well-known New Orleans drinks. Its title comes from Henry C. Ramos, bar proprietor and inventor of the drink. He got here up with the cocktail again in 1888, and it has been a staple of NoLa ever since.

Ramos invented the drink at his bar known as the Imperial Cupboard Saloon by mixing gin, heavy cream, powdered sugar, lemon & lime juices, an egg white, and orange flower water.

His recipe known as for 12 minutes of vigorous shaking, which is numerous work to make a single cocktail!

When he bought the bar and moved to a brand new place he known as The Stag, he truly employed a complete group of shakers to assist whip up his signature drink.

He mainly arrange an meeting line the place every particular person would shake it for a minute after which move it on. After enough shaking, they added a little bit of soda water on high to give the drink its fizz. 

He initially known as the drink a New Orleans Fizz. Years later, the Roosevelt Resort purchased the rights to the drink from Ramos’ son after Prohibition ended.

To honor the inventor, they named the drink after him. It was additionally on the Roosevelt Resort that former Louisiana governor Huey Lengthy fell in love with the drink.

Apparently, Lengthy beloved the Ramos Gin Fizz a lot that be introduced a bartender with him on a visit to New York simply so he may educate individuals there how to make it.

This assured that Lengthy by no means had to be with out his favourite cocktail on his frequent journeys to Manhattan. What a legend!

The Roosevelt Resort stays the very best place to strive one, so that you would possibly as properly order one up after you strive their Sazerac to make for an epic tour of New Orleans cocktails. One other great spot to strive one is the Carousel Bar (click on right here for instructions), the place you may strive a number of different well-known New Orleans drinks.

where to drink a ramos gin fizz in new orleans at the carousel bar

5. Vieux Carré: For These Who Desire a Sturdy Drink


  • Cognac
  • Vermouth
  • Whiskey
  • Bitters
  • Garnish

Simply as is the case with New Orleans meals, there’s an apparent French affect with town’s cocktails. Simply take the traditional Vieux Carré, which is French for “Previous Sq.” and a nod to the French Quarter.

Very like town itself, the Vieux Carré is each potent and easy on the identical time. This signature New Orleans drink dates again to the 1930s and the Carousel Bar in Resort Monteleone.

The bar remains to be there and it’s undoubtedly the very best place to strive one of many high cocktails in New Orleans. It’s truly centered round a classic carousel that you just spin round as you drink. How cool is that?!

vieux carre cocktail new orleans

It’s a melting pot of a drink, with French cognac, Italian vermouth, American whiskey, and Caribbean bitters. Consuming a Vieux Carré is form of like consuming the historical past of New Orleans! It sometimes is available in an Previous Normal glass together with a cherry or lemon wedge as a garnish.

6. Pimm’s Cup: Easy and Refreshing Cocktail


  • Pimm’s
  • Lemonade
  • 7-Up
  • Cucumber Garnish

As a metropolis that will get extremely popular and enjoys day consuming, New Orleans wants a lightweight, refreshing cocktail. Cue the Pimm’s Cup, which got here to the Large Straightforward by way of London a century after its creation.

Now we have London barkeep James Pimm to thank for this pleasant concoction with a recipe that is still secret to today. Over time, he truly got here up with six totally different variations of the drink.

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is the one which made its means throughout the pond when the proprietor of the Napoleon Home gave it a New Orleans twist.

He took the favored tonic and added lemonade, 7-Up, and a cucumber garnish. That is undoubtedly one of the crucial refreshing cocktails in New Orleans!

pimm's cup cocktail in new orleans

The Napoleon Home remains to be the very best place to strive a Pimm’s Cup within the Large Straightforward (click on right here for instructions).

Isn’t it superior that the locations the place most of those well-known New Orleans drinks originated are nonetheless going robust? One other great place to get pleasure from a Pimm’s is Bar Tonique, the place they’re simply $5 on Mondays. I’ll drink to that!

7. Hand Grenade: A Dangerously Sturdy Cocktail


  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Melon Liquor
  • Easy Syrup
  • Water to Dilute the Alcohol
  • Recent Cantaloupe or Honeydew Juice

(The substances are a “secret”, however that is fairly shut.)

Our tour of New Orleans cocktails comes to a becoming conclusion with the Hand Grenade. Because the title implies, this drink packs a severe punch. For those who’re wanting to crank it up and get loopy on Bourbon Road, that is your ticket!

Homeowners of the Tropical Isle bar, Pam Fortner and Earl Bernhardt, invented this dangerously robust cocktail. They describe it as “a beautiful melon taste drink with plenty of liqueurs and different secret substances.”

A Hand Grenade is available in a inexperienced plastic yard glass with a base that resembles, you guessed it, a hand grenade.

Very like a grenade, you’ll need to train excessive warning with one among these in your arms. The creators themselves warn that whereas #2 will provide you with a pleasant buzz, #Four would possibly end in public nudity. They even say you’re by yourself after the fifth one!

You possibly can solely discover Hand Grenades on the varied Tropical Isle areas alongside Bourbon Road (click on right here for instructions to among the best). You may also get them on the Funky Pirate bar, which is a good place to catch some dwell blues.

tourists drinking hand grenade cocktail in new orleans
Vacationers consuming a hand grenade at Tropical Isle

For those who can handle to put down a complete Hand Grenade, you’ve acquired a pleasant memento cup to deliver residence to bear in mind your journey. In fact, for those who had one too many Hand Grenades, remembering something may be a bit troublesome…

Prepared for Some New Orleans Cocktails?

It’s actually is fascinating to be taught the tales behind a few of these traditional New Orleans cocktails. Learn this put up out loud as you sip on a couple of of those drinks and also you’ll have your very personal episode of Drunk Historical past.

Whereas many vacationers to the Large Straightforward get caught consuming overpriced, watered-down cocktails on Bourbon Road, there’s much more to uncover when it comes to consuming in NOLA.

Get on the market and begin your day with a Brandy Milk Punch at Brennan’s, then transfer on to a Gin Fizz throughout the hottest a part of the day. 

partying on Bourbon Street in New Orleans

After a nap and a few tasty New Orleans meals (most likely a po’ boy or a bowl of jambalaya), you’ll be prepared to hit the streets once more searching for the very best cocktails in New Orleans.

Go forward and seize your self a Hurricane or a Hand Grenade and be part of the revelry a minimum of as soon as.

If the crowds and the noise drive you loopy, there are many chilled-out bars you may retreat to. Best of all, lots of them by no means shut. And so they say New York is town that by no means sleeps…

Have you ever been to New Orleans and have an important advice for a particular cocktail or bar? Drop a remark beneath and tell us about it!

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