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Best of New Orleans Cocktails

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.

Picos Sour from Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco Peruvian Cuisine

Picos Sour from Tito’s Ceviche & Pisco Peruvian Cuisine thumb

Tito’s Pisco is steeped right here in the restaurant and is absolutely delicious when mixed into cocktails such as Pisco Sour, the national cocktail of Peru. Made with pisco brandy, simple syrup, lime juice, egg white, and a few dashes of bitters, the drink is tart, sweet, silky, and herbaceous. The St. Charles restaurant is right on the streetcar line. Don’t leave New Orleans without trying one.

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Felix's Hurricane

Felix's Hurricane thumb

Felix’s offers not one but two hurricanes — the original which is lemony, and the traditional which is more like the kind you’ll find most everywhere in the French Quarter today. We Actually prefer the original hurricane which came into the scene in the 1930s. Order both and see what you think.

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The Grand Duchess

The Grand Duchess thumb

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.

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The Peachy Keen

The Peachy Keen thumb

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.

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Korbel Brandy Milk Punch

Korbel Brandy Milk Punch thumb

In New Orleans, we love our milk punch at brunch and the folks at Messina’s Runway Café know how to do it right. We also recommend their Spanish Coffee. Heaven on a cool day.

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The Big Banana

The Big Banana thumb

If you love Bananas Foster, the dessert, you’ll love Oceana Grill’s signature drink. The ingredients include a a piece of Bananas Foster Ice Cream Cake, rum, vanilla vodka and banana liqueur. Don’t bother to save room for dessert. You already had it.

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The Voodoo Daiquiri (a.k.a the Purple Drank)

The Voodoo Daiquiri (a.k.a the Purple Drank) thumb

Blue Crabs. Redfish. The Purple Drank. New Orleans is nothing if not colorful. This adult slushy can be experienced at Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, Maison Bourbon Jazz Club and My Bar @ 635. The recipe is secret which makes it even more intriguing.

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The Royal Rose

The Royal Rose thumb

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!

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The Pilscup

The Pilscup thumb

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.

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L&L Collins

L&L Collins thumb

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.

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Grasshopper thumb

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.

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