The Sazerac Bar
Famous for Sazeracs and Ramos Gin Fizzes
This gorgeous, old school bar in the Roosevelt Hotel is named for the cocktail that was invented just down the street. For its first eleven years of operation, the bar was men only, however on September 25th, 1949 the manager told a few women that the bar would now be open to everyone. The next day, hoards of local women stormed the bar, dressed to the nines and demanded their stiff drink right next to the men. Every year on September 26th, women fill the bar, wearing their pearls and furs, and order their sazeracs. While Huey P. Long, the infamous governor of Louisiana, had already been assassinated by the time the bar opened (so, no that bullet hole that can still be seen above the bar was not intended for him), he routinely took meetings in the bar that occupied the space before it was called The Sazerac Bar. Legend has it that he built Airline Highway (that connects the capital city of Baton Rouge to New Orleans) so that he could more quickly get to his favorite drink, the Ramos Gin Fizz, which was invented down the street.
130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA
Jewel of the South
Phenomenal cocktail program led by two legends
From local bartending legends Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, this cozy, beautiful spot is a nice respite from the craziness of the Quarter. This iteration of Jewel of the South pays homage to a bar of the same name that was the birthplace of the brandy crusta many years ago. In addition to trying the brandy crusta or one of the other spectacular cocktails, be sure to order some food or even stop in for dinner, as the menu is excellent. If you like this place, check out the laid back Cuban spot, Manolito, from the same duo.
Jewel of the South
Slowly rotating bar and home of the Vieux Carre
While this bar is where Walter Bergeron invented the Vieux Carré cocktail in 1938, it is more well known for its gorgeous merry-go-round bar has been making a rotation every fifteen minutes for over 65 years. Sip this cocktail, that is made of equal parts Cognac, rye whiskey and sweet vermouth, at one of the seats on the rotating platform. This bar, that is in the lobby of the famed Hotel Monteleone, has hosted greats like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, William Faulkner, Liberace, Louis Prima and many more. In fact, Capote loved this place so much that he could often be found at the bar boasting that he was born in the hotel. While his mother did in fact live in the hotel while she was pregnant with him, he was actually born in a nearby hospital.
214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA
Old Absinthe House
Historic location and home of the Absinthe Frappe
While this bar became famous for the Absinth Frappe that was invented here in 1874, they legally had to stop selling Absinth in 1912. A law passed, making Absinth illegal in this country due to the false claims that it made you hallucinate or go crazy. Even though the ban was lifted in 2007, many drinks that were traditionally made with absinthe are now made with Herbsaint, an anise flavored liqueur, as a holdover from that time. Here, the menu states when they use Herbsaint versus Absinth, and as you will notice, the Absinthe Frappe is now made with Herbsaint. However, they do have a selection of high proof absinthe based cocktails for the bold. While this bar is famous for inventing the Absinth Frappe, it is arguably more famous for hosting a very important meeting between pirate Jean Lafitte and future president Andrew Jackson. Legend has it that Jackson came to town to prepare for upcoming battles of the War of 1812. The general had a fleet of ships but no one skilled enough to handle them, whereas Lafitte had men but no ships because he had just lost many of them in a standoff with the US Navy. Once Jackson agreed to pardon Lafitte and all of his men as well as free his brother from jail, they agreed to help Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans, effectively ending the War of 1812.
Home of the Museum of the American Cocktail
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, which also houses the Museum of the American Cocktail, is dedicated to food and food culture in the South as well as the craft and creation of the cocktail.
Cozy Cuban spot for daiquiris
From James Beard Award Winning bartender Chris Hannah and local legend Nick Detrich, this cozy, casual Cuban spot is a nice respite from the craziness of the Quarter. They have a selection of Cuba inspired drinks, including a selection of daiquiris, that are all incredibly prepared. While it is believed that the daiquiri was invented in Cuba, this frozen drink has been adopted by New Orleans, which is often called the most northern Caribbean city. Many locals bring daiquiris to crawfish boils, tailgates, Mardi Gras parades, or simply to just cool off on a hot day. There is even a chain of drive through the daiquiri shops where you don't even have to get out of your car to buy one. Daiquiri shops can be found throughout the region and all over the city offering a variety of flavors. If you like this place, check out the more upscale Jewel of the South, from the same duo.