Best of New Orleans Cocktails
New Orleans is famous as the birthplace of cocktails like the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Hurricane, and perhaps notorious for giving the world the Hand Grenade, the Fish Bowl and the Yard Dog (the Big Ass Beer is a story for another day). While drinks with souvenir glasses have their place in New Orleans’ cocktail culture (we’ve included a few here), we hope you’ll get a chance to try all of the drinks on this list (not all in one visit, of course). Some are classics and some soon will be.
Named to honor New Orleans burlesque legend Chris Owens, this lovely cockail at 3rd Block Depot Kitchen + Bar is made with empress gin, grapefruit cordial, lemon juice, rose water, and sparkling wine. It's sweet and light. A perfect tribute to a beloved New Orleans personality. Enjoy it at the restaurant's Eggs & Legs Burlesque Brunch with Bella Blue.
The cool thing about Suis Generis is they grow tons of fun herbs and edible flowers at their Tiki Farm in Pearlington, Mississippi, and many of them end up in their cocktails. We love their Peachy Keen, made with Smirnoff, Stirrings Peach Liqueur, lime, cranberry and soda. It’s almost as cool as the Bywater neighborhood where you get to enjoy it.
This elegant yet sexy cocktail, garnished with a “look at me” grapefruit flower, is enjoyed every day at the Royal Bar in the Royal Frenchmen Hotel. Its lovely gin base when accompanied by a couple of unexpected cordials results in a sophisticated, slightly floral taste. Creativity like this explains how this little bar came in as the #3 Hotel Bar in New Orleans in the Big Easy Awards. Congratulations to Bar Manager Joshua Daly and the team at the Royal Bar!
For 11+ years, Mixologist Mandy Underwood has been serving up creativity in the Brewhouse bar at Crescent City Brewhouse. Her Pilscup is a beer-filled salute to the famous Pimm's Cup (see below), made with cucumbers and woodruff mixed with lemonade pilsner and Dripping Springs Artisan Gin. Best when enjoyed on the Brewhouse balcony.
This tall, cool one from Commander's Palace, one of the top restaurants in the world, is comprised of house-infused lavender and lemongrass vodka with house-made agave sour and soda. It’s refreshing and light with just enough kick. Best of all, this drink is approved by Eat Fit Nola and that makes it even cooler.
Tujague’s co-owner Philibert Guichet had the world seeing green when he entered his recipe for a drink that would soon be known as the Grasshopper in a 1918 cocktail competition in New York. While the Grasshopper only came in second place, it’s first in the heart of many New Orleanians who enjoy sipping the frothy minty drink in Tujague’s famous bar. You can’t say you know New Orleans cocktails if you’ve never had a grasshopper at Tujague’s.
Felix’s is famous for more than oysters – their Deluxe Bloody Mary is worth texting home about. Bar Manager Chelsea Chaisson and staff start with Absolut Peppar and their house-made Bloody Mary Mix in a spiced rim glass. And here’s the part we like: they serve it with spiced beans, olives, celery, a boiled shrimp, one raw oyster on the half shell and a slice of lemon. Felix’s sold close to 15,000 of these babies last year. Who wants one?