[Johann Trasch/Unsplash]

Top 10 NOLA Bars for Handcrafted Cocktails | Local Drinks You'll Love

07:00 June 26, 2024
By: Staff

With exuberant nightlife and exciting bar culture, New Orleans is home to some of the best cocktails you will ever taste. New Orleans is almost synonymous with drinking, so it makes sense that the Big Easy has the most creative and highest quality handcrafted cocktails in the entire United States. From Crescent City classics to creative chef originals, you're bound to find your new favorite drink in New Orleans.

These are 10 of the best New Orleans bars for handcrafted cocktails to start your tipsy travels.

New Orleans' Best Bars for Handcrafted Cocktails

1. Jewel of the South

1026 St. Louis St., (504) 265-8816


Jewel of the South [Courtesy of Jewel of the South]

Jewel of the South is modern tavern in the French Quarter. It boasts a wide range of classy dinner and brunch cocktails that are great for any occasion. This fine dining spot offers caviar, duck neck sausage, figs and cream, and a lot of fancy French sounding words.

Jewel of the South has been featured in both USA Today and National Geographic, ranked among the top cocktail creators in the nation. Enjoy a Sword Lily, Harlequin, a pink peppercorn cantaloupe cocktail, or any of the finest alcohols. The dinner menu has a variety of seasonal, classic and diamond cocktails, as well as an impressive wine list.

Our Recommendation: Bastille Cup

2. Cure

4905 Freret St., (504) 302-2357


Cure [Courtesy of Cure]

Located in Uptown New Orleans, Cure is a craft-cocktail bar with a modern, high-end atmosphere. For over a decade, Cure has been a popular favorite of both locals and visitors. There is a selection of small and mighty food dishes as well as season cocktails with accents of "grassy smoke" or "echoes of the summer shore."

This bar has won several awards and is not just a place to get drinks. It is also an experience.

Our recommendation: Brunello Bamboo

3. Bar Tonique

820 N. Rampart St.


Bar Tonique [Courtesy of Bar Tonique]

Bar Tonique is a welcoming, prideful, and gay-loving bar, 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 creative list of tasty punches, slings, blossoms, and sours.

Our Recommendation: Cabra Mar Cocktail

4. Loa Bar

221 Camp St., (504) 553-9550


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.

Our Recommendation: The Healer

5. Bar Métier

544 Carondelet St., (504) 814-7720


Maison Métier [Hyatt.com]

Housed in the Maison Métier, Bar Métier brings the the charming atmosphere of Paris to the Crescent City. The bar was formerly known as Bar Marilou, while the hotel that housed it was once called Maison de la Luz.

The bar is located in a former library, so there's a palpable air of sophistication. Bring together your closest friends and experience plenty of high-class and delicious crafted cocktails, as well as wine, beer, and even caviar.

Our Recommendation: Strawberry Feels

6. Arnaud's French 75 Bar

813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433


Arnaud's French 75 [Sarah Ignas]

This vintage bar was custom built in the late 1800s 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 Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Our Recommendation: La Boheme

7. Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29

321 N. Peters St., (504) 609-3811


Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 [Sarah Ignas]

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.

Our Recommendation: Brad's Banana Banshee

8. Twelve Mile Limit

500 S. Telemachus St., (504) 488-8114


Twelve Mile Limit [Courtesy of Twelve Mile Limit's Facebook]

Twelve Mile Limit is a Mid-City cocktail dive bar with food pop-ups every night, including Que Pasta, which serves beautifully crafted Latin street food.

Their menu is full of kooky cocktail names and spectacular flavors like Thai spice, yerba mate, hibiscus, blood orange, and more. Fun fact, it became a bar in the 1920s, and it is hypothesized Babe Ruth was a regular. This bar is often on New Orleans' favorite bar list in the city.

Our Recommendation: Violent Delight

9. The Sazerac Bar

130 Roosevelt Way, (504) 648-1200


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: the 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.

Our Recommendation: Bananas Foster

10. Manolito

508 Dumaine St., (504) 603-2740


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 and love of the drink.

Manolito's menu includes cocktails that are blended, double-blended, shaken, thrown and effervescent.

Our Recommendation: Daiquiri de Santiago

Best Cocktails in New Orleans

Now you know the best spots in New Orleans for handcrafted cocktails! From the French Quarter and Downtown to other neighborhoods like Mid-City, the Crescent City has plenty of booze to offer and sights to see. If you're not making your own cocktails, come out and let New Orleans' best make some for you.

While this is a list of our top 10, there are definitely more bars and restaurants in the city that have amazing handcrafted cocktails. You might even want to brave crossing parish lines and see what craft cocktails Metairie and the Westbank has to offer. Go find the specialty drink that'll make your night out a perfect one!

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