A GUIDE TO THE MOST FAMOUS MUST-TRY NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS
New Orleans has a long, storied history, but no matter what’s thrown at the city, the good times keep rolling. The atmospheric, fun-lovin’ culture of New Orleans is aided by its long list of inventive and desirable cocktails.
When one thinks of New Orleans, music and food will undoubtedly come to mind, but more often than not, the ownership of that first thought belongs to one of the city’s many famous cocktails. Whether it’s a Hurricane, Sazerac, or a Creole Bloody Mary, people come to New Orleans to experience the cocktail heritage of the city.
The original cocktail and official drink of New Orleans is a Sazerac. Antoine Amédée Peychaud is commonly credited as the drink’s creator. Sources state that Peychaud invented the Sazerac around 1838 at his French Quarter apothecary on Royal Street.
The cocktail was later popularized at the Sazerac Coffee House on Exchange Place. However, others claim that Aaron Bird, owner of the Sazerac Coffee House, created the drink in the 1850s.
Regardless of its inventor, the classic recipe consists of Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils cognac, absinthe (The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau lifted the long-standing absinthe ban in 2007), and bitters.
Looking for something sweeter? Try the classic Hurricane cocktail made with a large amount of rum, passion fruit syrup, lemon or lime juice, and grenadine. The drink is usually garnished with an orange slice and a couple of maraschino cherries.
Pat O’Brien created the drink in the 1940s at his infamous Pat O’Brien’s Bar. O’Brien came up with the creation to utilize his surplus of rum. The drink was served in a hurricane-shaped glass, and thus, the legend was born.
Creole Bloody Mary
The Creole Bloody Mary is the go-to brunch cocktail in New Orleans. The spicy drink mixes vodka, tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco hot sauce. The cocktail is usually garnished with celery stalks and lime slices but can also feature asparagus and shrimp.
The origin of the Bloody Mary is as murky as the Mississippi River. The most popular belief is that Fernand “Pete” Petiot, a bartender at the New York Bar in Paris (now known as The Harry’s Bar), invented the drink in 1921.
However, others believe comedian George Jessell created the drink as a hangover cure. A claim supported by Petiot, who said in an interview that he invented his version in 1934 at the King Cole Room in New York’s St. Regis Hotel as a refinement to Jessel’s Bloody Mary, which was a simple mix of vodka and tomato juice.
Regardless of the origin, it’s safe to say that New Orleans perfected the cocktail with its Creole version.
The Grasshopper is a venerable favorite in New Orleans and the quintessential after-dinner cocktail. The creamy, minty delight is customarily served in a martini glass and is a cool, refreshing way to beat the New Orleans heat.
The green drink was invented by New Orleanian Philibert Guichet, owner of Tujague’s, for a cocktail competition in New York City in 1918. Apparently, Guichet’s Grasshopper received second place. While not a winner on that particular day, the Grasshopper has become one of the city’s most popular, classic cocktails.
Ramos Gin Fizz
One of the most impressive New Orleans cocktails is the Ramos Gin Fizz. The frothy-topped, citrus, fizzy drink offers enough excitement to kick off any New Orleans celebration. The cocktail was first created by Henry Ramos in New Orleans at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in 1888.
Ramos’ signature drink is a refinement of a simple Gin Fizz with lime juice, an egg white, sugar, cream, and orange flower water. The cocktail must be shaken for 12 minutes to develop its frothy lemon meringue pie charm.
Stay at the Jung Hotel & Residences
One of the best ways to experience the classic cocktails of New Orleans is by staying at a hotel that is in the middle of it all. The Jung Hotel & Residences is ideally situated near the Canal Streetcar line, allowing easy accessibility. Make a reservation at the Jung Hotel today, and discover the world’s best cocktails.