New Orleans for Cocktail-Lovers: A Boozy Big Easy Weekend

New Orleans for Cocktail-Lovers: A Boozy Big Easy Weekend

(Image credit: Tara Donne)

There is never a bad time to drink your way through New Orleans: The city's motto — laissez les bon temps rouler — all but offers to buy you your next round; its liberal libation policies mean you may almost always have something slushy and spiked on hand; and for every frozen beverage in a to-go cup, there is a well-crafted cocktail in a coupe glass.

No, there is never a bad time to get a bit inebriated in the Big Easy. The real question is this: Is there a better occasion than one that combines boos and booze?

If you're heading down to New Orleans for Halloween, there's absolutely no chance you'll leave thirsty — but where should you whet your whistle? We asked Chris Hannah, one of the city's best-known bartenders, for his top picks.

The Best Bars in New Orleans, According to a Bartender

Where to Drink in Downtown New Orleans

Naturally you should kick off your boozy Big Easy weekend with a cognac-spiked French 75 made by Hannah himself at Arnaud's French 75. The James Beard Award-winning spot is cozy and chic and, needless to say, the cocktails are on point.

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Also in the upper French Quarter, Chris recommends Latitude 29 for tiki drinks; Erin Rose, a dive bar knowns for its frozen Irish coffee; and the beer-centric Black Penny. In the lower French Quarter he says Cane and Table and Bar Tonique are musts — and Effervescence if you're in the mood for bubbles.

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And that's just the French Quarter. "You still have the Marigny and Bywater," he adds. "When going that direction, my favorites are Bud Rips, BJ's, Bachannal, and Mimi's."

Where to Drink in Mid-City

If you're heading to Voodoo Fest, pre- and post-game at Pal's Lounge, one of Hannah's favorite neighborhood bars, or stop by Revel Café where Chris McMillian (aka "the Godfather of our cocktail community") tends bar.

Other Mid-City highlights include Treo, Twelve Mile Limit, Finn McCool's, and Mick's.

Where to Drink in Uptown New Orleans

Chris lives in the Lower Garden District, where his haunts include Barrel Proof and The Saint Bar & Lounge for cocktails, and Avenue Pub for "the best beers in the city." If you're going further Uptown, visit Cure on Freret Street.

Bottoms up!

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