[Johann Trasch / Unsplash]

Top 10 New Orleans Handcrafted Cocktails

11:32 August 30, 2022
By: Staff

New Orleans' 10 Best Bars for Handcrafted Cocktails

With exuberant nightlife and exciting bar culture, New Orleans is home to some of the best cocktails you will ever taste. As the city gears up for Tales of the Cocktail at the end of July, these ten local watering holes are just what you need to start your tipsy travels.

1. Cure

Cure [courtesy photo]

Located in uptown New Orleans, Cure is the go-to cocktail bar for creative specialties and it is widely known as the "pioneer" of craft cocktail bars in the city. For over a decade, Cure has been a popular favorite of both locals and visitors. In 2018, the company won the James Beard Award for its outstanding bar program. Stop in for their esteemed happy hour or a nighttime drink any day of the week! Cure can be found at 4905 Freret Street. https://www.curenola.com/menus

Our recommendation: Try Ghost Clothes - a sesame toasted almond version of the Old Fashioned.

2. Jewel of the South

Jewel of the South [courtesy photo]

Jewel of the South is a lovely French Quarter restaurant that knows how to put the fine in fine dining. It boasts a wide range of dinner and brunch cocktails that are great for any occasion. Jewel of the South has been featured in both USA Today and National Geographic, ranked among the top cocktail creators in the nation. There are separate cocktails for the brunch menu, including a Coffee Cobbler, Pot Likker Dirty Martini and Carnival Colada. The dinner menu has a variety of seasonal, classic and diamond cocktails, as well as an impressive wine list. Jewel of the South is located at 1026 St. Louis Street. https://www.jewelnola.com/menus/#cocktails

Our Recommendation: Try Figroni - a combination of Rieger Gin, Gig Leaf Vermouth and Spiced Campari.

3. Bar Tonique

Bar Tonique [courtesy photo]

This cozy, brick bar is known for its friendly environment and welcoming atmosphere. It is known for welcoming members of diverse communities, as the bar is owned and run by a majority BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identifying staff members. Bar Tonique also hosts Turning Tables, a non-profit organization that promotes equity and leadership across the hospitality industry. To this day, Bar Tonique exists as the very first free-standing cocktail bar in New Orleans. It is located on the edge of the French Quarter and has a different style of drink to please every individual. Be sure to check out their daily specials and extensive list of slings, blossoms and traditional cocktails. Bar Tonique is found at 820 N. Rampart Street. https://www.bartonique.com/

Our Recommendation: Try Bobby Burns Cocktail - a 1917 blend of Monkey Shoulder and Malt Scotch Whiskey, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge Vermouth, D.O.M. Bénédictine, Angostura Bitters and Lemon Peel.

4. Loa Bar

Loa Bar [Sarah Ignas]

Loa Bar is unique cocktail destination connected to the historic International House boutique hotel. Its name comes from the divine spirits of the Vodou faith tradition. The space hosts large events like weddings, meetings and private parties. Loa Bar is located in the Central Business District, only a few blocks from the French Quarter. The venue also operates under the creative direction of Abigail Gullo, a globally recognized bartender, cocktail creator and podcast host. The cocktail list is inspired by the natural world and the wonders that make life so magical. Loa Bar is 221 Camp Street. https://www.ihhotel.com/loa-bar/cocktail-list

Our Recommendation: Try Sanctity of the Gods - a dirty martini with a splash of fish sauce that reflects the age-old deities of Vietnam, Southern Spain and the Ayrshire Coast.

Bar Marilou [Where Y'at staff]

5. Bar Marilou

Located in a former library, Bar Marilou is a unique French-inspired bar with delicious eats and sophisticated drinks. The bar also hosts a wide variety of live music, including jazz, blues, Latin and string ensembles. Bar Marilou has a collection of non-alcoholic cocktails as well, making it an inclusive destination for drinkers and non-drinkers alike. Bar You can also join for happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Marilou is located in the Warehouse District, at 544 Carondelet Street. https://www.barmarilou.com/

Our Recommendation: Try Femme Fatale - a frozen cocktail with rose, vodka, strawberry juice, love potion bitters and bubbles.

6. Arnaud's French 75 Bar

Arnaud's French 75 [Sarah Ignas]

This vintage bar was custom built in the late 1800's as a place distinctly for gentlemen. This French Quarter establishment is classy and elegant with a range of classics, cocktails and non-alcoholic specialties. It is also home to the famous New Orleans French 75 cocktail, which is a made up of Courvoisier VS, sugar, lemon juice, Moet and Chandon. Arnaud's French 75 Bar is a part of Arnaud's dining experience with authentic Creole cuisine. Arnaud's also hosts a jazz brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find Arnaud's French 75 Bar at 813 Rue Bienville. https://www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/bars/french-75/

Our Recommendation: Try The Empress - a refined cocktail with Dorothy Parker Gin, Honeydew Cordial, Mint Cordial, lime juice and rose water.

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 [Sarah Ignas]

7. Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 is a French Quarter Tiki bar and restaurant that celebrates the life of Jeff Berry, an award-winning cocktail historian. It is located in the historic Bienville Hotel in downtown New Orleans. The menu includes a long list of traditional and innovative island cocktails. This coastal themed bar incorporates lots of rum and fruit flavors into its boozy creations. The food menu also shows a range of island favorites to pair with your drinks. Latitude 29 is at 321 N. Peter's Street. https://latitude29nola.com/

Our Recommendation: Try Banshee - a cocktail with fresh banana and coconut milk, blended with lime, dark Jamaican rum and Aztec bitters.

8. Twelve Mile Limit

[Twelve Mile Limit, Facebook]

Nestled in the heart of Mid-City New Orleans, Twelve Mile Limit is a bustling cocktail dive bar with over a century of history. During the bar's connection to Pelican Park in the 1920's, Twelve Mile Limit hosted many New York Yankees players, as well as the legendary Babe Ruth. The bar is now home to hand-crafted cocktails and a Cuban kitchen, making it a relaxed neighborhood favorite. Twelve Mile Limit puts a large emphasis on their environmental impact, and they have adapted several practices to reduce their carbon footprint. The bar has a list of cocktails and daily specialties. Twelve Mile Limit can be found at 500 South Telemachus Street. https://twelvemilelimit.com/#

Our Recommendation: Try Professional Widow - described as "sexy" and "a little bitter", this cocktails is made of rye, Cynar, peach liquor and Huhu's.

9. The Sazerac Bar

Sazerac [courtesy The Roosevelt Hotel / Sazerac Bar]

Located within the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, The Sazerac Bar has been a city landmark for generations. The bar has both classic and modern cocktails and it is rumored to be the site of the very first mixed drink: Sazerac. The Sazerac Bar has been featured in USA Today and is known for its beautiful atmosphere and conversational space. The design of the bar is art-deco inspired and continues to display a variety of timeless pieces. The Sazerac Bar is at 130 Roosevelt Way. therooseveltneworleans.com

Our Recommendation: Try El Presidente - named for the Cuban president Mario Garcia Menocal, this drink is considered the "aristocrat of cocktails".

10. Manolito

Manolito [Sarah Ignas]

Manolito is a French Quarter bar that continues the legacy of Manuel "Manolito" Carbajo Aguiar, a Cuban cocktail crafter who extended his knowledge to the bartenders of New Orleans. The secret of perfecting the daiquiri is a tradition that the bar hopes to carry on, in light of New Orleans heritage. The Manolito menu includes cocktails that are blended, double-blended, shaken, thrown and effervescent. You can find this downtown bar at 508 Dumaine.

Our Recommendation: Try Daiquiri de Santiago - a shaken cocktail of Bacardi Reserva Ocho, Crème de Cocoa and lime.

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