Food & Drink

The New Orleans Cocktail Bucket List

Published On 08/06/2014 Published On 08/06/2014
Cocktails
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Scott Gold
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1. Three Muses 536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

"Whiskey evangelist" Kimberly Patton-Bragg's the Three Muses was voted as one of New Orleans Magazine’s Top Bars, and if that wasn't reason enough to check it out, there's also a great small plates menu and nightly live jazz in store. Try The Muses' signature dish, fries with feta cheese and gremolata, while you sip on signature cocktails, the Spaghetti Western, which combines Bulleit bourbon muddled with Campari-soaked oranges and rosemary spirits.

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2. Cane & Table 1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

There are many things to enjoy about this throwback Caribbean restaurant and bar -- think Navy-strength rum and house-made falernum -- but best enjoyed here is the “Boss Colada”, a long and tropical drink fashioned from fresh pineapple, lime, Baska Snäps, and Peychauds bitters, garnished with a long pineapple leaf. Be warned: this bar is so low-key that there isn't even a sign out front. To find it, look for the line at Coop's on Decatur; it's next door.

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3. Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar 300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

This Central Business District resto & bar serves a variety of delectable food and drink options, like signature cocktail-paired brunches (concocted by Executive Chef Carl Schaubhut and Bar Chef Lu Brow), and they also dole out 25 cent martinis. Yeah, that’s a quarter of a buck, friend. The relaxed vibe of this cocktail bar makes you feel comfortable to chat with your friends, and the friendly atmosphere will make you want to stay for hours.

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4. Green Goddess 307 Exchange Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Tucked in an alley in the French Quarter, this oasis serves lunch and dinner and provides creative cuisine and cocktails. There’s even a vegan Bloody Mary variation on the list, along with watermelon sangria and two different boozy SnoBall ice cocktails.

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5. Carousel Bar & Lounge 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Featuring an actual carousel bar that revolves around patrons, the French Quarter's Carousel Bar & Lounge mixes classic and contemporary cocktails like Sazeracs and Pimm's Cups, pairing them with New Orleans-style bar bites like seafood okra gumbo and po boys. Live jazz music entertains a slightly more dressed-up clientele, who'll endure a wait to snag a table at the circular bar.

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6. Arnaud's French 75 Bar 813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

Originally designated as a "gentlemen only area" in NOLA's early days, this cocktail bar located within Arnaud's Restaurant features drinks like the Pisco Derby (that's pisco, lavender honey syrup, lime, and grapefruit) and bar snacks like Oysters en Brochette (translation: oysters wrapped with bacon and deep fried). You'll feel extra fancy having those cocktails and snacks served to you by bartenders clad in white tuxedos. In addition to more inventive drinks, you can't go wrong with the killer Old Fashioned or Sidecar either.

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7. SoBou 310 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Located inside the W Hotel, SoBou is a spirited restaurant south of Bourbon St (hence the name) feels like a modern-day Creole saloon. The restaurant and lounge is known for its hand-crafted cocktails, and serves creative spins on traditional bar snacks like crispy pork skin and spicy beer nuts, as well as some heartier dishes. SoBou also has a beer garden with beer taps in the tables and self-serve wine machines.

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8. The Empire Bar at Broussard's 819 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

Located at the fine dining establishment Broussard's, the Empire Bar houses a lavish marble bar, behind which barman supreme Paul Gustings will be waiting to make you a Ramos Fizz, or one of the other extraordinary 'tails on the menu. Try one of Gustings' signature Napoleon brandy-based cocktails or the Leite de Onca, which is a cachaça-based cocktail with toasted coconut shavings, pineapple syrup, heavy cream, condensed milk, and Mexican chocolate.

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9. Twelve Mile Limit 500 S Telemachus St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Twelve Mile has all the little things that make a bar feel homey. You’ve got food if you need it, places to sit and stare at the curios that catch your eye -- like the stuffed shark and squid hanging near the Hyperbole and a Half print on the wall -- a solid jukebox, pool, and personalized matchbooks to light your smokes or pass a number to someone. It’s the neighborhood bar worth leaving your actual neighborhood to adopt as your own.

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10. Erin Rose Bar 811 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

A half-block away from Bourbon Street, this friendly Irish pub is covered in framed photographs, car parts autographed by drag racers, and other memorabilia from NOLA's glory days. Erin Rose is known for its Bloody Marys, frozen or hot Irish coffee, and its killer po' boys, such as its Dark 'n Stormy Po' Boy with rum-braised pork.

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11. Kingfish 337 Chartres, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Thibodaux native, Chef Nathan Richard, created a menu at the casual Kingfish restaurant that combines the Cajun reverence for honoring ingredients and culinary history with a sophisticated, often playful take on modern trends that excite visitors and natives alike. The plateau de fruits des mer is this spots take on a traditional meat charcuterie board, using local seafood to create all manner of fresh and cured sausages, terrines, and smoked items.

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12. Sylvain 625 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

This spot embodies a casual-but-kickass uniting of great food, great booze, and hospitality- all housed in a former carriage house with courtyard seats right off Jackson Square. Sylvain is famous for its "Chick-Syl-vain" fried chicken sandwich, but this corner gastropub in the French Quarter also features a great cocktail program and an impressive selection of single-barrel bourbons.

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13. Tujague's 823 Decatur St, New Orleans, 70116 (French Quarter)

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Tujague's is the second oldest restaurant in NOLA, a fact evidenced by a timeless, extensive old-school menu that focuses around traditional Creole fare. The place also houses one of the most iconic bars in the country, and invented the minty post-dinner Grasshopper cocktail, which is delicious, and contains no actual grasshoppers.

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14. Tropical Isle 721 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Tropical Isle is an essential part of New Orleans, for better or worse. The Bourbon St bar is known for the Hand Grenade, a gigantic drink that tastes vaguely of melon but mostly of alcohol. The crowd is a mix of what you'd expect from a bar known for its bad decision-inducing cocktails: college kids and out-of-towners, but that tourist trap-meets-frat party vibe is all part of the experience.

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