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A bright green, frothy drink in a champagne-like flute sits on table.
A grasshopper from Tujague’s.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

15 Iconic New Orleans Cocktails and Where to Find Them

The long list of New Orleans-born drinks includes a sazerac, bourbon milk punch, Pimms cup, grasshopper, hurricane, and of course, the hand grenade

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A grasshopper from Tujague’s.
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

There’s no place more famous for its cocktails than New Orleans and no wonder. The story goes that the cocktail was invented here, along with a slew of iconic drinks that are synonymous with the New Orleans experience. It’s quite a list, from a sazerac, to bourbon milk punch, Pimms cup, the grasshopper, hurricane, and of course, the hand grenade.

Storied bars and restaurants are well known for their versions of these many classic drinks. Here are 15 iconic, New Orleans-invented cocktails and where to find them.

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Sazerac at The Sazerac

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There are 100 places in Orleans Parish where you can get a sazerac (and probably a dozen where you can get a really good one). But this low-lit, throwback swanky bar in the Roosevelt Hotel is so devoted to the iconic New Orleans cocktail that it's named for it. The Sazerac Bar tops the list.

Shutterstock

Brandy Crusta at Jewel of the South

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Chris Hannah’s drink list at Jewel is a wonder of global flavors and creative combinations in an inviting indoor-outdoor garden setting. The signature drink is a Brandy Crusta, said to be invented in New Orleans in the 1850s by an Italian bartender named Joseph Santini. Hannah’s extravagant version utilizes Remy 1738 Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, lemon, Luxardo Maraschino, and bitters.

Jewel of the South’s Brandy Crusta.
Jewel of the South

Bourbon Milk Punch at Bourbon House

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Bourbon milk punch is a popular brunch drink alternative to the ubiquitous bloody mary, and the Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House version is served frozen with ice cream as an ingredient. There’s a coconut milk-forward vegan version too. Brennan’s is another famous locale for the beloved drink.

French 75 at The French 75 Bar

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The original version of this cocktail, for which the bar of Arnaud's is named, contains gin as its main ingredient. French 75 counters that the New Orleans version should have Cognac, since that's a French spirit and gin is not. You'll get it with Cognac here.

A French 75 at Arnaud’s.
Denny Culbert/Arnaud’s

The Absinthe Frappe at The Old Absinthe House

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Created at the Old Absinthe House in the 1860s, this simple absinthe cocktail is as refreshing and flavorful as it ever was. In fact, the bar was known as the Absinthe Room after the cocktail was created, which eventually became the Old Absinthe House.

Daily Life In New Orleans Paul Rovere/Getty Images

The Vieux Carre at the Carousel Bar

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The Monteleone Hotel’s revolving Carousel Bar offers a cocktail menu that might as well be a master class of iconic drinks. Most notably, the Vieux Carre was invented here back in the 1930s, combining whiskey, cognac, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters and paying homage to the neighborhood from which it sprung.

A view of the Carousel Bar, a slowly-rotating bar structure meant to resemble a carousel ride at a carnival, with bulb lights and mirrors. Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Ramos Gin Fizz at Bar Tonique

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This frothy and refreshing cocktail is all about the long game — it takes a significant shake to activate the frothy factor for the combo of egg whites, gin, orange flower water, sugar, and cream. They do a super job at the craft cocktail mecca Bar Tonique on the edge of the Quarter by Armstrong Park. Don’t order one if you’re in a hurry, the New Orleans-created cocktail needs time to percolate perfectly.

A Ramos Gin Fizz at Bar Tonique.
Claire Bangser/Punch

Bloody Bull at Brennan's

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At the quintessential New Orleans fine-dining breakfast restaurant, the bloody mary garnishes are kept to the classic New Orleans pickled okra and pickled green bean. The difference with the Bloody Bull, invented at Brennan’s, is in one key ingredient: beef broth. Brennan’s uses beef bouillon these days, mixed with its spicy and complex bloody mary mix, and vodka. Brennan’s is also famous for its brandy milk punch, so be sure to try both.

Cafe Brulot Diabolique at Antoine's

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Antoine’s has been doing all kinds of things right for more than 180 years — and this flaming spiced coffee drink may just top the list. The fifth-generation family-owned grand dame off Bourbon offers diners a show with dinner, as waiters make cafe brulot in special copper cooking bowl and ladle, the smell of coffee, brandy, and sparking citrus creating an irresistible after-dinner treat.

Antoine’s cafe brulot is best enjoyed with Baked Alaska.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Hand Grenade at Tropical Isle

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Although throwing back one (or more) hand grenades will surely lead to questionable decision-making, the distinctively shaped plastic cups are ubiquitous on Bourbon Street. Tropical Isle put the drink on the map during the ill-fated 1984 World’s Fair — the hand grenade was the fair’s biggest success.

Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's

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You can't argue with history. Even though you can get a hand-crafted, hand-muddled, boutique hurricane at classic bars including Lafitte’s, Pat O’s is where the magic was first made, and this is where the classic lives on in raging technicolor.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House

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This cool, refreshing drink was made for the warm days and day-drinking tendencies of New Orleans residents and visitors. The Napoleon House has served them for so long, that the drink is synonymous with the bar.

Grasshopper at Tujague’s

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Part dessert, part libation, the grasshopper was concocted for a 1918 drinks competition in New York by the second owner of Tujague’s when it was in its original location. The historic restaurant moved four blocks towards Canal a few years back, but the green drink remains the same — equal parts crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Voodoo Daiquiri at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

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Supposedly the country’s oldest structure to be used as a bar, Lafitte’s is a space where music, drinks, and colorful history collide. Sidle up to the bar for a Voodoo Daiquiri, also known as the purple drink, a vaguely grape-flavored frozen daiquiri made with bourbon and grain alcohol. One will suffice.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's at the Market

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The frozen Irish coffee is a go-to hangover cure and cooling treat for wandering the Quarter on a steamy day. While the Erin Rose also serves a great version, the Monahans have put the drink on the map, serving it not only at Molly's at the Market but also Junction in the Bywater.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Sazerac at The Sazerac

There are 100 places in Orleans Parish where you can get a sazerac (and probably a dozen where you can get a really good one). But this low-lit, throwback swanky bar in the Roosevelt Hotel is so devoted to the iconic New Orleans cocktail that it's named for it. The Sazerac Bar tops the list.

Shutterstock

Brandy Crusta at Jewel of the South

Chris Hannah’s drink list at Jewel is a wonder of global flavors and creative combinations in an inviting indoor-outdoor garden setting. The signature drink is a Brandy Crusta, said to be invented in New Orleans in the 1850s by an Italian bartender named Joseph Santini. Hannah’s extravagant version utilizes Remy 1738 Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, lemon, Luxardo Maraschino, and bitters.

Jewel of the South’s Brandy Crusta.
Jewel of the South

Bourbon Milk Punch at Bourbon House

Bourbon milk punch is a popular brunch drink alternative to the ubiquitous bloody mary, and the Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House version is served frozen with ice cream as an ingredient. There’s a coconut milk-forward vegan version too. Brennan’s is another famous locale for the beloved drink.

French 75 at The French 75 Bar

The original version of this cocktail, for which the bar of Arnaud's is named, contains gin as its main ingredient. French 75 counters that the New Orleans version should have Cognac, since that's a French spirit and gin is not. You'll get it with Cognac here.

A French 75 at Arnaud’s.
Denny Culbert/Arnaud’s

The Absinthe Frappe at The Old Absinthe House

Created at the Old Absinthe House in the 1860s, this simple absinthe cocktail is as refreshing and flavorful as it ever was. In fact, the bar was known as the Absinthe Room after the cocktail was created, which eventually became the Old Absinthe House.

Daily Life In New Orleans Paul Rovere/Getty Images

The Vieux Carre at the Carousel Bar

The Monteleone Hotel’s revolving Carousel Bar offers a cocktail menu that might as well be a master class of iconic drinks. Most notably, the Vieux Carre was invented here back in the 1930s, combining whiskey, cognac, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters and paying homage to the neighborhood from which it sprung.

A view of the Carousel Bar, a slowly-rotating bar structure meant to resemble a carousel ride at a carnival, with bulb lights and mirrors. Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Ramos Gin Fizz at Bar Tonique

This frothy and refreshing cocktail is all about the long game — it takes a significant shake to activate the frothy factor for the combo of egg whites, gin, orange flower water, sugar, and cream. They do a super job at the craft cocktail mecca Bar Tonique on the edge of the Quarter by Armstrong Park. Don’t order one if you’re in a hurry, the New Orleans-created cocktail needs time to percolate perfectly.

A Ramos Gin Fizz at Bar Tonique.
Claire Bangser/Punch

Bloody Bull at Brennan's

At the quintessential New Orleans fine-dining breakfast restaurant, the bloody mary garnishes are kept to the classic New Orleans pickled okra and pickled green bean. The difference with the Bloody Bull, invented at Brennan’s, is in one key ingredient: beef broth. Brennan’s uses beef bouillon these days, mixed with its spicy and complex bloody mary mix, and vodka. Brennan’s is also famous for its brandy milk punch, so be sure to try both.

Cafe Brulot Diabolique at Antoine's

Antoine’s has been doing all kinds of things right for more than 180 years — and this flaming spiced coffee drink may just top the list. The fifth-generation family-owned grand dame off Bourbon offers diners a show with dinner, as waiters make cafe brulot in special copper cooking bowl and ladle, the smell of coffee, brandy, and sparking citrus creating an irresistible after-dinner treat.

Antoine’s cafe brulot is best enjoyed with Baked Alaska.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Hand Grenade at Tropical Isle

Although throwing back one (or more) hand grenades will surely lead to questionable decision-making, the distinctively shaped plastic cups are ubiquitous on Bourbon Street. Tropical Isle put the drink on the map during the ill-fated 1984 World’s Fair — the hand grenade was the fair’s biggest success.

Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's

You can't argue with history. Even though you can get a hand-crafted, hand-muddled, boutique hurricane at classic bars including Lafitte’s, Pat O’s is where the magic was first made, and this is where the classic lives on in raging technicolor.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House

This cool, refreshing drink was made for the warm days and day-drinking tendencies of New Orleans residents and visitors. The Napoleon House has served them for so long, that the drink is synonymous with the bar.

Grasshopper at Tujague’s

Part dessert, part libation, the grasshopper was concocted for a 1918 drinks competition in New York by the second owner of Tujague’s when it was in its original location. The historic restaurant moved four blocks towards Canal a few years back, but the green drink remains the same — equal parts crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Voodoo Daiquiri at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

Supposedly the country’s oldest structure to be used as a bar, Lafitte’s is a space where music, drinks, and colorful history collide. Sidle up to the bar for a Voodoo Daiquiri, also known as the purple drink, a vaguely grape-flavored frozen daiquiri made with bourbon and grain alcohol. One will suffice.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's at the Market

The frozen Irish coffee is a go-to hangover cure and cooling treat for wandering the Quarter on a steamy day. While the Erin Rose also serves a great version, the Monahans have put the drink on the map, serving it not only at Molly's at the Market but also Junction in the Bywater.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

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