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Hello all, I know there have been plenty of drink-related posts on here, and I've been following along. A friend and I are headed to town next week. Here's what I've compiled for drinks to try. The list is long. What should go to the top? What should get deleted? Anything we missed? We like fancy, inventive cocktails just as much as a cool dive bar. For the most part, we'll stop at some of these places when we have time to kill or are nearby, but we may also do a bit of a cocktail tour on Saturday afternoon or Sunday early evening.

El Gato Negro, inventive margaritas

Arnaud’s French 75 bar, French 75

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, Hurricane

Tropical Isle, Hand Grenade

Tujagues Ramos Gin Fizz, Pimm's cup, Sazerac, bloody mary's de la louisane

Bar Uncommon New Orleans classic (a Sazerac, a Vieux Carre, a Ramos Gin Fizz), or his incomparable Mint Julep.

Bar Tonique, any cocktail, dark and stormy

Carousel Bar, The Roffignac, any classic cocktail, bloody mary

Café Lafitte in Exile, bloody mary

Mollly’s at the Market, homemade bloody Mary with a splash of Guiness

The John, open 24 hours, cheap drinks in mason jars

Iris, fancy, inventive cocktails

Aunt Tiki’s, cool sounding dive bar,

823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Aunt Tiki's
1207 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Vieux Carre Restaurant
201 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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  1. If you get a hurricane, might as well do it at Pat O's. Personally I would skip it, but if you've never had one, go ahead and do it. Don't drink them too fast, they'll sneak up on you. I would also skip the Hand Grenade. Unless you are in college and need to get hammered quick.

    The bloody mary at Molly's isn't homemade, it is straight out of the bottle. They're really not that good. Skip it and get a mixed drink or beer. It's a dive bar; they have really good beer.

    While you are in the quarter, you should stop by the Sazarac Bar at The Roosevelt. Beautiful bar and you might as well get a Sazarac there.

    Unfortunately, New Orleans is not on the cutting edge of the cocktail revolution and really isn't a "cocktail city," though there are some great mixologists if you look around (looks like you've done a good job). That being said, I think New Orleans has some of the most historic and most beautiful bars in the country. Because of their beauty, my favorites include The Columns, Carousel Bar, The Sazarac Bar and Pat O's. There are others, but that is a start. For dive bars and character, I love Molly's at the Market as well as numerous others, mostly uptown and Mid-City.

    Good luck and happy drinking!


    2 Replies
    1. re: UptownKevin

      Thanks! Yeah, I've had the hurricane & hand grenade before, but the friend I'm going with hasn't. I kind of think of both as must-trys even if they aren't the absolute best that NOLA has to offer!

      1. re: UptownKevin

        I really like the Hurricanes at Lafitte's- tastes actually like juice and booze, like a tiki drink almost.

      2. Napoleon House, pimms cup

        Sazerac Bar, Ramos Gin Fizz

        Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
        500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        2 Replies
        1. re: FoodChic

          You know, I am so very sorry that I did not make it to Sazerac for a Ramos Gin Fizz. It was on the calendar, but things got very, very hectic. Now, there were a few moments, where I could have worked it in, waiting for M-I-L to come down to the lobby.

          Hunt, kicking himself!

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Hunt, if you stay at the Roosevelt your problem is solved. :-)

        2. I forgot Martinis at the Swizzle Stick Bar....a favorite of ours.

          1. Cure on Freret St. is worth a visit. They're a little full of themselves but the drinks are top notch and can compete with the better bars in Boston, NYC, and SF. Of the other places on your list, Tonique is also in that league. Tujagues and the French 75 Bar are hit or miss depending on who's on the stick (though when Paul is there, Tujagues is excellent indeed and he's doing stuff that isn't being done elsewhere with ingredients that are almost completely unavailable). Both Dante and the Green Goddess have interesting cocktail programs as well, and are (to a lesser and greater degree, respectively) worth checking out for both food and drinks.

            There are good reasons to go to places like Molly's, the John, the Blacksmith Shop and so on, but those reasons have not a lot to do with the quality of the cocktails.

            Green Goddess
            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

            823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

            820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

            1 Reply
            1. re: montuori

              Can you order snacks at the bar at Green Goddess? I forgot to add them to my list!

              Green Goddess
              307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

            2. Carousel Bar invented the Vieux Carre cocktail. Also, if Eddie's mixing there try to get him. He's the best bartender we've had there.

              1 Reply
              1. What's the general feeling re: Bar Uncommon vs The Swizzle Stick? Re: the latter, we LOVE Lu, but the drinks we had when she wasn't there just weren't as good.

                1. A brandy milk punch at Brennan's or Commanders, or just about anyplace else you are having a nice breakfast.

                  And if you are looking for a great dive bar...Snake and Jakes.

                  1. Also at Commander's, in addition to the 25c lunch martinis, there's the iconic blue Commander's martini as well as Papa Doble and Whiskey Smash, lovely drinks both. (Not that I'm a heavy drinker, mind you...)

                    Most memorable drink there was when Jenni made up a brand new one for us and asked us to help name it. Wonder if it ever made it on the bar menu... The CP bar isn't atmospheric (which is weird considering how the rest of the place is so incredible) but it is intimate and if you spend some time there with a friendly bartender they'll tell you all sorts of juicy stuff.

                    1. I would also highly recommend Coquette on Magazine Street, uptown.


                      In addition to the standards, they have a thoughtful list of specialty cocktails that changes on a regular basis and often feature obscure classics. My favorite from the current list is the "Twelve Mile Limit". The "Bailout" is also excellent. They take pride in what they are producing behind the bar and it shows.

                      1. For great beer, go to the Bulldog on Magazine.

                        1. Forty years ago Nick's would have filled everything you were looking for in one stop. RIP Nick, Miss Dora and that wonderful building.

                          For beer I like the Avenue better than Bulldog, unless it's a great sitting out side day.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: collardman

                            Oh, damn..ya hadda bring up Mr Nick....geeze, we'd buy the cases of Dixie beer out da side uh da' brew'ry, den go ovah to Nick's Big Train and have sum confections...my friend Bob's Porsche 911 knew the way from Nick's back to Tulane. I can still see Mike Persia Chevrolet going by in a blur....

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              I had the "pleasure" of going to Nick Castrogiovanni's Big Train Bar way back in 1994 on my first trip to New Orleans. Our Patio Best Western hotel was right down the street, and a coworker of mine had recommended it from his NOLA days, so we walked there down Tulane Ave. during the daytime and still managed to score a couple of strong drinks from an employee "cleaning up" from the night before even when they weren't "officially"open. Still hate that I lost the couple of souvenir cups from there, one of them decorated with an overflowing car of Italian women with an accompanying amusing poem, and the other printed with the recipe from their famous F- Me Up drink. Classic. I hated to hear that place is no longer open. Anybody know where I can get my hands on a couple of replacement cups? :) :)

                          2. Thanks everyone! Anyone been to the Gazebo Cafe? Ice cream cocktails, good or gross?