Whether you like it shaken or stirred, cocktails are topnotch in New Orleans. Birthplace of the cocktail, New Orleans has been perfecting the art of the drink for 300 years. Bartenders take tremendous pride in what they do here. That being said, you can find award-winning, uniquely creative craft cocktails all across the city, but we’ve rounded up our 10 favorites bars for you to enjoy a special beverage. Cheers!
Our Favorite Spots for Craft Cocktails
Located across the street from Armstrong Park, Bar Tonique sits on the edge of the French Quarter and is a cocktail connoisseurs dream. Their drink menu is extensive, yet creative. Bring a designated driver with you and they’ll whip up non-alcoholic “mocktails” for them for free!
This James Beard Award-winning bar slings classic cocktails and seasonal treats in a swanky setting. Located uptown on the bustling Freret Street, Cure is a great spot for date night, pre-dinner drinks or post-dinner nightcaps. Their daily punch is a must – as are their tasty small plates.
This hidden-gem is a neighborhood dive bar with a killer craft cocktail list. The owner and head bartender has previously manned the bar programs at a number of beloved upscale restaurants around the city, and uses his skill to create one-of-a-kind drinks.
Two of New Orleans’ most famous bartenders, Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, opened this Cuban establishment to pay tribute to Manuel Carbajo Aguiar-- a bartender who served Ernest Hemingway regularly. Sip on twists to daiquiris, rum drinks and cuban fusions at this French Quarter hotspot.
Although they may not have invented it, this historic, oak-lined bar is the perfect place to sip on the iconic “original” cocktail - the Sazerac. Another must-try libation? The Ramos Gin Fizz, which is reported to require a full 12 minutes of shaking. The bar’s atmosphere will take you back to the 1930s and is perfect for socializing before or after your night out.
With an extraordinary view of the city and the Mississippi River, Hot Tin bar is popular among locals and visitors alike. Located at the top of the Pontchartrain Hotel, you can enjoy drinks with a view on the terrace or lounge on the indoor couches.
With a long list of specialty cocktails and New Orleans classics, Victory whips up colorful and delicious recipes that reflects the art of cocktail making. Owner and head bartender, Daniel Victory, has become a famed favorite bartender. Interested in taking your love of craft cocktails to the next level? Try out a mixology class at Drink Lab, located just upstairs.
Great for post-work, pre-dinner or late night, Bouligny Tavern sits on Magazine Street in the Uptown neighborhood. With indoor and outdoor seats, their cocktails pair great with friends or a date, and make for great socializing. They also have an excellent selection of small plates and snacks.
Located in the legendary Arnaud’s restaurant and winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program, the bar embodies fine cocktails and high quality ingredients. Obviously, the French 75 cocktail is their prized drink, but they have phenomenal seasonal offerings as well. Pair your drink with a plate of souffle potatoes - you won’t be sorry.
This hotel lobby bar was one of the first quintessential modern craft cocktail spots in the city. The Voodoo-themed concoctions are meticulously thought out from the homemade tinctures and tonics to the one-of-a-kind, vintage barware they’re served in. The bar has a swanky, sexy vibe and makes for a great stop for pre-dinner drinks.
For a full list of craft-cocktail bars in the city, see here.