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Nola's Best Under The Radar Cocktail Bars

These may not show up on your average listicle, but they sure do make a nice cocktail.

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Sure, New Orleans has a lot of cocktail bars. A lot. We've got old school and new, "important" and "hot." But there are so many more than those. These are neighborhood bars, restaurants with great cocktail programs, and bars that if they were 3 blocks in another direction, they'd be huge. But they put their heads down and keep working to satisfy their regulars and impress the visitors who happen to stumble by, willing to take a risk on something that isn't on a nationally published "best of" list.

Enjoy a great cocktail at a place that you might not expect it. Or someplace you've never heard of. And learn a little something new, to boot.

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Ancora Pizzeria

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The entire Freret corridor is full of casual eateries with great cocktail programs in the shadow of New Orleans' granddaddy of craft cocktails (Cure), but the Neapolitan pizza joint has a distinctly Italian take on hand crafted cocktails. Housemade juices, syrups, and limoncello variants join high quality Italian liqueurs and the head of the cocktail program, Carlos Quinonez, creates twists on local classics - the Ancora Sazerac has Sambuca and grapefruit syrup in addition to the standard rye whiskey and Peychaud's - and original creations like the Witch's Kiss, which combines vodka, smoked apple syrup, Strega herbal liqueur, and housemade vermouth.

Victory

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While the CBD and Warehouse District work to increase its residential population, Daniel Victory's quietly high-quality cocktail bar tucked among towering office buildings on Baronne will provide all comers with great cocktails and atmosphere. Plus, a free sample of the cocktail of the day. Try a Beetin' Down the Lime for a surprising and elegant take on tropical flavors with rum, beet reduction, brown sugar, and lime.

Atchafalaya Restaurant

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Known well for its famous Bloody Mary bar, it's easy to forget that very qualified bartenders can do the heavy lifting for you. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, but try the Spicy Ginger Margarita or the Duck Fat Sazerac, a perennial favorite.

The Swizzle Stick

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The middle sister to Garden District local lion Commander's Palace and newer, flashier SoBou in the Quarter, this Warehouse District spot often gets overlooked. The gleaming horseshoe shaped bar provides the perfect spot to watch your bartender chip ice to order from a giant ice block. Try the Adelaide Swizzle signature house cocktail named for Adelaide Brennan, the inspiration for the restaurant and bar, made with rum, Peychaud's, lime juice, bitters, soda, and a "secret ingredient."

Three Muses

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Although much of the focus is on the food and music muses, Kimberly Patton-Bragg's cocktail program has breathed new life into the third Muse at this Frenchmen St. club. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the music and crowds that have claimed the street, Three Muses provides a sanctuary for the discriminating cocktail enthusiast. Patton-Bragg's extensive cocktail menu has original cocktails for all tastes, but her signature Spaghetti Western with bourbon, Campari-soaked orange, and rosemary syrup is always a great choice.

Bacchanal Wine

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As Bacchanal started out as a wine shop, one might think that's all they serve. However, with its recent renovations and upstairs bar, this Bywater gem has entered the cocktail game as well. Try the BR-549 with mayhaw shrub, Treaty Oak rum, Ancho Reyes, and Elemakule Tiki Bitters or the refreshing Pinky Tuscadero, a cava cocktail with Lillet Rose, Campari, orange bitters, and and mint.

Pal's Lounge

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Pal's is a neighborhood joint that has it all: laid back atmosphere, a rotating roster of pop-ups and food trucks, pinball, and refreshing cocktails like the watermelon mojito, gingerita, or pear martini.

Batch Bar at Hyatt French Quarter

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Batch Bar is the perfect place to escape the French Quarter for a barrel aged cocktail, some of which are made with house-infused spirits. Try the The Crescent Bend made with pecan-infused bourbon, ginger beer, drunken cranberries, and mint.

Saint Lawrence

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Lest the spinning daiq machines at Saint Lawrence hypnotize you, know in advance that the concoctions inside those machines are top notch boozy treats. Saint Lawrence also has an extensive non-frozen menu too, including the tiki-tinged Adoration (part 2) with pisco, orgeat, lime juice, pineapple, ginger beer, basil, and El Guapo Polynesian Kiss bitters.

Verret's Lounge

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Sink into the lush red vinyl banquette and enjoy boozy concoctions made without pretense, such as the Canedrake, made with gin, St. Germaine, citrus, and bitters or the Bulleit bourbon old fashioned - both of which are $6 so enjoy your good fortune.

Sidney's Saloon

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This Seventh Ward gem is off the beaten path, but provides an oasis of cocktails, craft beer, live entertainment, and under the radar pop ups as well. Dog friendly, too.

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Ancora Pizzeria

The entire Freret corridor is full of casual eateries with great cocktail programs in the shadow of New Orleans' granddaddy of craft cocktails (Cure), but the Neapolitan pizza joint has a distinctly Italian take on hand crafted cocktails. Housemade juices, syrups, and limoncello variants join high quality Italian liqueurs and the head of the cocktail program, Carlos Quinonez, creates twists on local classics - the Ancora Sazerac has Sambuca and grapefruit syrup in addition to the standard rye whiskey and Peychaud's - and original creations like the Witch's Kiss, which combines vodka, smoked apple syrup, Strega herbal liqueur, and housemade vermouth.

Victory

While the CBD and Warehouse District work to increase its residential population, Daniel Victory's quietly high-quality cocktail bar tucked among towering office buildings on Baronne will provide all comers with great cocktails and atmosphere. Plus, a free sample of the cocktail of the day. Try a Beetin' Down the Lime for a surprising and elegant take on tropical flavors with rum, beet reduction, brown sugar, and lime.

Atchafalaya Restaurant

Known well for its famous Bloody Mary bar, it's easy to forget that very qualified bartenders can do the heavy lifting for you. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, but try the Spicy Ginger Margarita or the Duck Fat Sazerac, a perennial favorite.

The Swizzle Stick

The middle sister to Garden District local lion Commander's Palace and newer, flashier SoBou in the Quarter, this Warehouse District spot often gets overlooked. The gleaming horseshoe shaped bar provides the perfect spot to watch your bartender chip ice to order from a giant ice block. Try the Adelaide Swizzle signature house cocktail named for Adelaide Brennan, the inspiration for the restaurant and bar, made with rum, Peychaud's, lime juice, bitters, soda, and a "secret ingredient."

Three Muses

Although much of the focus is on the food and music muses, Kimberly Patton-Bragg's cocktail program has breathed new life into the third Muse at this Frenchmen St. club. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the music and crowds that have claimed the street, Three Muses provides a sanctuary for the discriminating cocktail enthusiast. Patton-Bragg's extensive cocktail menu has original cocktails for all tastes, but her signature Spaghetti Western with bourbon, Campari-soaked orange, and rosemary syrup is always a great choice.

Bacchanal Wine

As Bacchanal started out as a wine shop, one might think that's all they serve. However, with its recent renovations and upstairs bar, this Bywater gem has entered the cocktail game as well. Try the BR-549 with mayhaw shrub, Treaty Oak rum, Ancho Reyes, and Elemakule Tiki Bitters or the refreshing Pinky Tuscadero, a cava cocktail with Lillet Rose, Campari, orange bitters, and and mint.

Pal's Lounge

Pal's is a neighborhood joint that has it all: laid back atmosphere, a rotating roster of pop-ups and food trucks, pinball, and refreshing cocktails like the watermelon mojito, gingerita, or pear martini.

Batch Bar at Hyatt French Quarter

Batch Bar is the perfect place to escape the French Quarter for a barrel aged cocktail, some of which are made with house-infused spirits. Try the The Crescent Bend made with pecan-infused bourbon, ginger beer, drunken cranberries, and mint.

Saint Lawrence

Lest the spinning daiq machines at Saint Lawrence hypnotize you, know in advance that the concoctions inside those machines are top notch boozy treats. Saint Lawrence also has an extensive non-frozen menu too, including the tiki-tinged Adoration (part 2) with pisco, orgeat, lime juice, pineapple, ginger beer, basil, and El Guapo Polynesian Kiss bitters.

Verret's Lounge

Sink into the lush red vinyl banquette and enjoy boozy concoctions made without pretense, such as the Canedrake, made with gin, St. Germaine, citrus, and bitters or the Bulleit bourbon old fashioned - both of which are $6 so enjoy your good fortune.

Sidney's Saloon

This Seventh Ward gem is off the beaten path, but provides an oasis of cocktails, craft beer, live entertainment, and under the radar pop ups as well. Dog friendly, too.

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