New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world. It’s been a cradle of cocktail creation — home to the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz hails from here as well — and it’s a destination for Americans of every stripe wanting to step outside their everyday life, to live a little, maybe to indulge in a little licentiousness.
Other cities have their doppelgängers elsewhere, but there’s only one New Orleans.
Must Do New Orleans Bars
The Carousel Bar
The Carousel Bar is found at the Hotel Monteleone, the home base of Tales of the Cocktail and an historic hotel in the French Quarter.
Go during Tales of the Cocktail, and the bar will be jam-packed with bartenders from across the US and from all over the world; no visit to New Orleans is complete without at least one sitting at this old bar.
Order a Sazerac — it may not be the best you’ve ever had, but if you haven’t felt the strange sensation of being hungover whilst the Carousel bar rotates — hence the name, right? — then you’ve not really done New Orleans.
The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel is a throwback to art deco days of drinking, to a time when the drinks were strong and the dress was snappy.
Come here during Tales of the Cocktail if you need an escape — order a Sazerac, of course, but also hit the jacketed bartenders up for a Ramos Gin Fizz (it’s the perfect antidote brash, loud and debaucherous Bourbon Street).
The Erin Rose is one bar that we at Australian Bartender return to again and again. It’s partly to do with their Frozen Irish Coffee, which is worth a trip in and of itself; it’s partly to do with the great po’ boys they serve out the back; and it’s a lot to do with the bar’s atmosphere, walls adorned with paraphernallia accumulated over the years, cheap drinks, and the bartenders and hospo staff that stop in at the bar on their way to work.
Tales of the Cocktail
If Bar Convent Berlin is the big, must-do trade show in Europe, then there is no other destination like Tales of the Cocktail for bartenders.
Tales has grown over the years into the jugernaut that it is now: it is the pre-eminent event for bartenders globally.
You can go for the parties, of course, which are legendary. You can go because to be in New Orleans, an ancient cradle of the cocktail, with your fellow bartenders is an experience in itself (you’ll make new friends from all over the world).
But there’s no place in the world in which the range and extent of bartending and booze education is done better.
Held each year for a week during July, if you’ve not done Tales yet, then make sure it’s on your bartending bucket list.