Ah, fall. Crackling fires, fall leaves, and tree fruits like apples, plums, and pears. As the weather turns cooler, we can’t help but think of comfort foods, sweet treats, and indulgent recipes that make us feel good.
This is a great time of year for the food and drink enthusiast, especially if you’re a fan of the brown liquid ‘loveliness’, like bourbons, dark rums, and even sweet vermouths that come into play as the autumnal equinox gets into full swing.
Below you’ll find a review of 5 of the best cocktail spots to visit in the city of New Orleans, and a chance to find out what’s shakin’ behind some of the best bars in the country.
If your internal mixologist is up for the challenge, give these recipes a try at your own ‘cocktail lab’ this Thanksgiving!
The Venue: Bar Tonique
820 N. Rampart | btw St Ann & Dumaine | French Quarter | bartonique.com
The Skinny: Bar Tonique is a laid back, off the beaten track craft cocktail bar on the outskirts of the French Quarter. Exposed brick, chalk board menus and the sweet sound of jazz, coupled with ice rattling of skilled cocktail shakers create a classic setting for both full time and guest bartenders to work their magic.
The Cocktail: Steve Wiltshire’s “A Dire Invitation”, has the perfect name for a Thanksgiving day cocktail! It’s a champagne cocktail mixed with sour cherry shrub, reposado tequila and Cocchi di Torino Vermouth. It’s served in a champagne flute and garnished with an lemon peel.
A Dire Invitation Cocktail, by Steve Wiltshire
- 1 1/2 oz Reposado Tequila
- 3/4 oz Cocchi di Torino
- 3/4 oz Sour Cherry Shrub
Stir and strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and a lemon twist.
The Venue: Bombay Club
The Skinny: Just off Bourbon Street, and a refuge from all the action, is this quaint little hideaway where you would expect to hear Billy Joel playing Piano Man, while men in smoking jackets mingle with dames in cocktail dresses.
The Cocktail: The Bombay Club is known for their martinis so it’s no surprise that their fall inspiration, the Cinnamon Spice-tini by Becky Rovelo, comes in a long stemmed glass!
Cinnamon Spice-tini, by Becky Rovelo
- 2 parts Fireball cinnamon whiskey
- 1/2 part Tuaca
- 1 part Amaretto
- Half and half
Shaken and poured into a cinnamon sugar rimmed martini glass.
The Venue: Cure
4905 Freret St| at Upperline | Freret District | curenola.com
The Skinny: An award winning concept and one of Travel & Leisure’s Best Bars in America in 2011, Cure New Orleans is located in a reclaimed fire house in Freret District. Noting the giant wall of liquor behind the bar, you will quickly get a good feeling that whatever they are shaking is going to be done well!
The Cocktail: From bar man Neil Roche comes “Midnight In A Perfect World” and another nod to Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. Concocted with a fortified peach syrup and bourbon, this drink is bound to light up a few faces around the dinner table. It would seem to us that it would pair well with turkey, oh, say, pumpkin pie or a cobbler for dessert! (Hint: Make the ingredients ahead at least one day for the best flavor.)
Midnight In a Perfect World, by Neil Roche
- 1 oz Nardini Tagliatelle Liqueur
- 1 oz Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon
- 1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 2 dashes Bittermen’s Mole Bitters
- 1/8 oz of Fortified Peach Syrup*
Stir until chilled and strain into a coupe glass. Express (i.e, squeeze!) the oil of one grapefruit peel above the cocktail, and drop in the glass as garnish.
*Fortified Peach Syrup
- 2 Cups water
- 2 1/2 Cups Diced and Muddled Peaches (equivalent to 3 ripe peaches)
- 2 Cups White Sugar
- 4 oz of Wray and Neph Rum
- 3 Dashes of Fee Brothers peach bitters
Add all ingredients into a pot. Bring to boil. Drop the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. Add 4 oz of Wray and Neph Rum, and the 3 Dashes of fee peach bitters. Stir ingredients. Let mixture sit over night and strain the next day.
The Venue: Bridge Lounge
1201 Magazine | at Erato | Lower Garden District |bridgeloungenola.com
The Skinny: Don’t let the facade or surrounding area scare you away from a visit here. Inside, the space is plush, and the stone topped bar sprawls across the room like a never-ending all-you-can-eat-buffet, providing plenty of space to mingle with friends. With candle-lit tables leading off from the bar into the lounge area, this is the perfect spot to spend a chill evening with friends.
The Cocktail: Like a Dark and Stormy with Bourbon, instead of rum, the Hayride is one of those bitter-sour-sweet cocktails that keeps you coming back for more. Not to mention, what a perfect name to conjure up images of autumn.
The Hayride, by Sean M. Neary
- 1 1/2 oz. Bourboun
- 1 oz. Hiver Amer Bitters
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 1 1/2 oz. Honey
- Top with ginger beer
Combine Bourbon, Bitters, Lemon Juice and Honey in a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously to incorporate the honey. Strain over ice. Top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
The Venue: Sylvain
625 Chartres | btwn Toulouse & St Peter | French Quarter | sylvainnola.com
The Skinny: Special things are happening in this French Quarter carriage house dating back to 1796. With a blending of creations old and new food and cocktails are exquisitely combined, making Sylvain a go to spot on any visit to the Crescent City.
Nieux Jersey, by Liam Deegan
- 3/4 oz Sazerac Rye
- 3/4 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
- 1/2 oz Becherovka
- 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
Stir in mixing glass with ice. Strain. Serve with one large ice cube, and an orange peel garnish.
This was a sponsored post from The Drink Deck.
The Drink Deck is an authority on the best bar scenes and top food and drink-related travel destinations in the US and UK. They create destination guides in the form of themed playing cards, offering 52 great places to explore and ways to save in: London, England; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR and New Orleans, LA, with more destinations coming.
Learn more about how they can enhance your cocktail traveling experience at The Drink Deck.