There is no excuse for being thirsty in New Orleans. Read on to learn about drinking in New Orleans.
New Orleans is a port city where the good times roll, and liquor has long played a role in the city’s history. It’s even been said that cocktails were invented in New Orleans. That claim is debatable. However, it’s no debate that the Sazerac cocktail was invented here by Antoine Peychaud in the early 1800s. This complex drink that is strong, spicy and sweet all at the same time was deemed the official cocktail of New Orleans in 2008. A mixture of rye whiskey, Herbsaint and bitters, the Sazerac is a 2foodtrippers favorite.
Drinking in New Orleans
Drinking in New Orleans is a highlight of any visit. From locally produced Abita beer to French wine to cocktails and even to coffee, the Big Easy has enough drinks for everybody. And then some more, just in case.
Drink at Historic Bars
Certain drinks are famously linked to New Orleans such as the aforementioned Sazerac, as well as the Frozen Daiquiri, the Brandy Milk Punch and the French 75. Similarly, certain bars are well-known for specific drinks like the Napoleon House for Pimm’s Cups and Pat O’Brien’s for Hurricanes. It’s important to visit these liquid landmarks. Sometimes, though, it’s fun to get “go cups” from the nearest bar and buy something basic to drink during your walk to the next bar.
Given the city’s history, it makes sense that the oldest bar in the country, or at least the bar in the oldest building (circa 1772) in the country, is on Bourbon Street. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is a bustling yet charming tavern that relies on candles for its main room lighting. The bar has a full bar and plenty of Abita beer, but the Purple VooDoo Daiquiri is the real draw. It’s fun to try the overly sweet drink at least once in your life – once is probably enough though.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is located at 941 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
Napoleon House is located at 500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States.
Pat O’Brien’s Bar is located at 718 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
Hang at Dive Bars
Dive bars abound in New Orleans. Two of our favorites are Coop’s Place right in the French Quarter and St. Roch Tavern in the nearby Bywater neighborhood. Both bars serve up great drinks with tasty local food and loads of character – all for reasonable prices. We highly recommend the jambalaya and fried chicken at Coop’s when you need a break from drinking. Or better yet to go with more drinks.
Coop’s Place is located at 1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
St. Roch Tavern is located at 1200 St Roch Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States.
Try the Local Rum
To make good drinks, you need good ingredients. One of our favorite ingredients happens to be locally made. Old New Orleans Rum is distilled in the city’s 9th ward, and the distillery offers $10 tours during the week. Bottles of the flavorful rum are also available at liquor shops throughout the city, though the best price we saw was at the CVS on Canal Street.
Old New Orleans Rum Distillery is located at 2815 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70122, United States.
Don’t Miss the Frozen Irish Coffee
Being in the bayou, it’s not unusual for the Crescent City to get hot and humid during the summer months. We recommend taking an air-conditioned break at Molly’s at the Market where you can enjoy a Frozen Irish Coffee. Made with Kleinpeter ice cream and Irish whiskey and then topped with whipped cream and coffee grinds, this drink is a cooling, delicious treat.
Molly’s at the Market is located at 1107 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
New Orleans is a 24/7 city, and this means that drinking in New Orleans is possible all day long. When there, we generally start drinking early.
Since the drinking in New Orleans starts early and goes until the wee hours of the night, we recommend pacing yourself and sharing drinks with your friends.
Start Your Day with Coffee
To be clear, not all drinks in New Orleans are alcoholic. Sweet tea is common in many of the local eateries. As for us, we’re partial to the coffee drinks at Café du Monde. A cup of chicory coffee mixed with steamed milk is a worthy accompaniment to the powder sugary beignets that are served by the venerable café in massive quantities.
Café du Monde is located at 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States.
When we’re home, we mostly drink wine and beer. When we’re in New Orleans, however, we drink everything from Fireball shots to fancy schmancy cocktails. It’s like being back in college, but with much spicier food and no classes. Cheers to drinking in New Orleans!
Check out our New Orleans Food Guide for the city’s best cheap eats.
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