Ask any local bartender and most will tell you New Orleans invented the cocktail. It is easy to see how this came about. With its unique blend of cultures that made it easy to combine many exotic flavors, a city with a renowned reputation to have fun, and the debilitating heat that requires everyone to stop to “hydrate,” it seems obvious the cocktail would be born in New Orleans.
Whether it is true or not, there is no doubt this city has been able to woo locals and tourists alike with the classic and unique concoctions bartenders serve night in and night out. If you’re asking for “the best cocktail” in the city, you can get a different answer from every local you ask. From Bourbon Street to Banks Street, or Freret to Prytania, you will find great sweet, sour, bitter and spicy alcoholic potions to kick off a memorable evening.
Below is a list of some of the newest bars that may be able to reinvigorate your new passion for flavorful libations. I recently tried them and recommend you do too!
This bowling alley takes their cocktails seriously. Sit at the bar before strapping on your bowling shoes and take in the house-made bitters that are lined up before you. Their happy hour includes $6 classic cocktails like the “Old Fashioned” or you can try their own specialty cocktails like the “Red Eye to Manhattan” if you’re feeling adventurous.
Trèo is the new sister restaurant to a popular neighborhood Irish pub, Finn McCool’s. Located in the up-and-coming Tulane Avenue stretch, patrons can enjoy their cocktails while touring the art gallery on the second floor. Not in the mood for stairs? Find a seat next to the bar and nibble on delectable small plates while gazing up at the Superdome and NOLA street grid on the ceiling.
A nod to the Huey P. Long era of our state, this casual restaurant is getting a lot of attention for its bar. When wandering through the French Quarter, this place on Charters has friendly bartenders that are happy to talk about the city while crushing your ice by beating it on the bar in a cloth napkin. If it’s hot, their take on the Pimm’s cup is the way to go.