Indoor seating for bars is out of the picture for now, but a hot toddy ought to keep you warm outdoors. Conveniently, January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day. Don't see 'em on the menu? Don't worry. Ask your bartender if it's possible for them to conjure one up. Usually, the answer is yes. In fact, most of these listings are off-menu items. From recipes with antioxidant-loaded green tea to one with a spicy kick of vitamin-loaded cayenne, NOLA has so many satisfying local twists on the traditional drink. Stop by these places, tip your bartender, and enjoy!
The Warehouse District is home to
some of the most exciting bars and restaurants. That secret has been out for years.
Off-the-beaten-path spots still exist, however endangered they may be. You'll
know what we mean when you go to Sidecar.
This low-key trendy spot is known for its oyster bar, drinks, and patio. Once
great for ambiance, patios now serve as the saving grace for diners—especially
if they're heated, like this one. Pick up one of their hot toddies made with
Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky and Montenegro. 1114 Constance St., (504) 381-5079, sidecarnola.com
Full disclosure: This writer used to work at one of these locations, so she might be a bit biased. That said, it speaks well of a place that you'd still want to hang out there after hanging up your apron. Café Envie is an only-in-the-French-Quarter type of coffee shop—with a chicory blend and a bar. Typically, their cocktails craftily combine Orleans Coffee with syrups, flavor, and booze, but they do an amazing hot toddy. The components are simple: your choice of whiskey, honey, and a little lemon, topped off with tea. If you want a twist, Envie recommends trying your hot toddy with a fruity tropical green tea. Looking for a jolt of caffeine? Ask for your hot toddy with earl grey. Be sure to specify your order, since classic chamomile is typically the default. 1241 Decatur St., (504) 524-3689, cafeenvie.com
Cosimo's is a glorious oasis on a residential block in the Quarter. Secluded from the more touristy Downtown spots, this bar and grill has wall-to-wall charm. Their hot toddy recipe skews close to an Old-Fashioned, with honey whiskey, muddled oranges, lemon, and cherry, topped off with cinnamon and sugar. 1201 Burgundy St., (504) 522-9715, facebook.com/cosimosbar
This Bayou St. John bar is the blue house on the corner that you can't miss. Friendly bartenders, a knack for hosting the best pop-up restaurants, and a neighborhood vibe make Pal's Lounge a favorite for locals. Order a hot toddy, and they'll serve you a bewitching concoction made with honey whiskey, lemon, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne. It's the spicy kick that really puts Pal's hot toddy on the map. 949 N. Rendon St., (504) 488-7257, facebook.com/Pals-Lounge
The Lower Garden District's Bakery Bar embodies the best of both worlds: bakeries and bars. The ultimate crossover restaurant that combines the talents of Charlotte McGehee and Charles Mary IV from Debbie Does Doberge, craft cocktail mixologist Jeff Schwartz, and chef Joel White. Their fun approach is evident in every menu item, from Trash Fries to rainbow cake. Their delightful take on the classic hot toddy features multiple in-house-made flavored syrups, bitters, lemon, and your choice of whiskey, rum, or cognac.1179 Annunciation St., (504) 513-8664, bakery.bar