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Shut Up and Drink by Dr. Bob

Drinking in New Orleans

In North America, USA by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch3 Comments

There is no excuse for being thirsty in New Orleans. Read on to learn about drinking in New Orleans.

New Orleans Cocktails at Luke - Drinking in New Orleans

New Orleans Cocktails at Luke

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.

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Drinking in New Orleans

Mindi Enjoying a Sazerac, the Official Cocktail of New Orleans - Drinking in New Orleans

Mindi Enjoying a Sazerac, the Official Cocktail of 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.

Purple VooDoo Machine at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans

Purple VooDoo Machine at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans

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

Wendy Serving Kick Ass Cocktails at St. Roch Tavern in New Orleans

Wendy Serving Kick-Ass Cocktails at St. Roch Tavern – Photo Courtesy of Karl Seifert.

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

Old New Orleans Rum in New Orleans

Old New Orleans 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

Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's at the Market in New Orleans

Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly’s at the Market

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.

Start Early

Bloody Mary at Elizabeth's in New Orleans

Breakfast Time – Bloody Mary at Elizabeth’s in the Bywater

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.

Pace Yourself

Milk Rum in New Orleans

Sharing is Fun in New Orleans

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

Daryl Hirsch Enjoys a Cafe au Lait at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans

Daryl Enjoying a Café au Lait at Cafe du Monde

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.

Final Thoughts

Cheers to Drinking in New Orleans!

Cheers to Drinking in New Orleans!

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. I

t’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.

Research New Orleans Hotels

Have we convinced you to visit New Orleans and try all the drinks? Click here to research the best rates for hotels in New Orleans.

Book a Tour

Since you probably shouldn’t drink all day long, click here to find an awesome New Orleans tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Travel Guide

There's no need to be thirsty in New Orleans since great drinks abound from coffee to cocktails to beer. Drinking in New Orleans is fun.

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  1. You guys make me wonder why I haven’t been to New Orleans yet. Looks like such a fun place to visit!

  2. The liquid offerings of New Orleans have me even more excited for my upcoming trip!

  3. Totally what to try one of those drinks from the voodoo machine! I think a fun night would be had after a few of those!!!!

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