Known for its music, cuisine, and the ever-popular Mardi Gras parade, these New Orleans cocktails are just as bright and fun as The Big Easy itself.
And luckily, they’re insanely easy to recreate at home!
New Orleans Cocktails & Drink Recipes
From bright and fruity to zesty and refreshing, these iconic New Orleans cocktails hit the spot every time.
Shaken or stirred, they’re best served with good friends and some bluesy jazz in the city.
So, the next time you make red beans and rice or head into the French Quarter, try one of these famous New Orleans drinks.
You won’t be disappointed.
1. New Orleans Hurricane Drink
Nothing screams “New Orleans” quite like a hurricane! No sandbags or shelters here, just a fruity drink that’s sure to get the party started.
This dangerously delicious cocktail is full of fruity goodness, and a mix of light and dark rum.
Hurricane glasses are, of course, the preferred glass. And I still have a few in the cupboard from my last trip to NOLA!
But feel free to serve them in whatever glasses you have.
Ingredients: light rum, dark, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup. Grenadine, orange slice & cherry (for garnish)
2. Vieux Carre Cocktail
First made by bartender Walter Bergeron in the infamous Carousel bar, the Vieux Carre is a New Orleans signature sipper.
Needless to say, I made a beeline for the Hotel Monteleone bar on my first trip and quickly fell for the delicious mix of bitters, brandy, and rye whiskey.
So yeah, it’s pretty robust.
It’s a historic drink named for the French square, with spicy, fruity, and honey notes from the Benedictine.
Ingredients: rye whiskey, Cognac, sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura bitter, Peychaud’s bitters, ice cubes, lemon twist (for garnish)
3. Pimm’s Cup
If you enjoy cold lemonade on a hot day, you’ll love this Pimm’s cup! It’s refreshing and delicious, though oddly, not a New Orleans creation.
Pimm’s is probably most well known for being the drink of choice at Wimbledon and fancy English garden parties.
But this London fave made its way across the pond and has become a staple on Bourbon Street and beyond.
Ingredients: Pimm’s No. 1, lemon juice, white sugar, ginger ale, cucumber slices (for garnish)
4. New Orleans Bloody Mary
What’s better than a snack and a drink with friends? How about a snack and a drink all in one cup?
I’m talking about a savory, snack-filled, New Orlean’s style Bloody Mary!
This Creole cocktail is jam-packed with flavor and spice, including horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.
But it’s the toppings that really get me excited. Some of my favorites are shrimp, bacon, pickles, and pickled okra.
Ingredients: vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun hot sauce, horseradish, Creole seasoning, celery salt, sea salt, pepper, crawfish bitters, Bloody Mary salt or creole seasoning (for the rim), celery stick, shrimp & pickled okra (for garnish)
5. New Orleans Sazerac
If you’ve ever been to the Old Absinthe House bar, chances are you’ve had a classic Sazerac or two.
It’s a simple cocktail with no fruity additions or mixers – so it’s ideal for novice bartenders.
The OG Sazerac calls for Absinthe, which gets swirled around your glass and poured out before adding the drink itself.
This recipe is similar, only you’ll use Herbsaint, an anise-flavored Absinthe substitute created in New Orleans in 1934.
Ingredients: sugar cube, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura bitters, rye whiskey, Legendre Herbsaint, lemon twist (for garnish)
6. Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch
I’m a massive fan of creamy cocktails, and this punch definitely sits near the top of my must-make list.
I mean, talk about sugar and spice and everything nice!
You’ll add a stunning combination of brandy, milk, sugar, vanilla, and spices to a cocktail shaker, then work it until it’s nice and cold.
Easy peasy and super delish.
Ingredients: brandy, whole milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, crushed ice, nutmeg
7. Voodoo Daiquiri
Whether you’re a believer or not, this voodoo daiquiri is spooky and scrumptious!
Again, it’s not a New Orleans creation (it’s from Cuba originally). But the locals and tourists alike love daiquiris, so you’ll see them pretty much everywhere.
In the balmy Louisiana summer, it’s best served icy and thick!
Ingredients: bourbon, Everclear or grape vodka, grape juice, frozen grapes, ice
8. Ramos Gin Fizz
If you’re on the fence about gin, give this drink a try! It’s frothy, fizzy, and super fun.
One sip, and I bet you’ll order it again and again.
To make this New Orleans Gin Fizz, you’ll need a cocktail shaker or blender. This makes for a frothy and lightly chilled drink with a lovely egg white foam on top.
Ingredients: dry gin, half & half, powdered sugar, egg white, orange flower water, lemon juice, vanilla extract, ice cubes
9. Mint Julep
Mint cocktails are some of the best to enjoy during the summer when you need something cool, refreshing, and lightly sweet.
And the classic Mint Julep is about as refreshing as it gets.
You’ll need minty simple syrup, which is effortless to make yourself. And once you have that, you can enjoy this tasty drink all week!
It’s simple enough to make in a pinch yet elegant enough for wedding season. What more can you ask for?
Ingredients: mint simple syrup, crushed ice, bourbon, lemon juice, mint sprig (for garnish)
10. La Louisiane
The Famous Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel obviously makes the best Sazerac in town.
But if you want something with a hint of herbal richness, you have to try the La Louisiane cocktail.
The rye whiskey is pretty straightforward, but the Absinthe, bitters, and Benedictine add immense flavor!
No shaking here, just a bit of stirring to maintain all that alcohol. Then garnish your drink with a couple of Luxardo cherries for flare.
Ingredients: rye whiskey, sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Absinthe or Herbsaint, Peychaud’s bitters, Luxardo cherries (for garnish)
No trip to the unofficial capital of Louisiana would be complete without a Grasshopper at the Tujague.
This gorgeous green Mardi Gras cocktail is available all over the city, of course. But I think Tujague does it best.
That said, with just three ingredients, it’s a straightforward drink to make.
So ask any bartender in any restaurant in New Orleans and they’ll make you a pretty stunning drink in a flash.
Ingredients: green crème de menthe, white crème de cacao, light cream, ice
12. Absinthe Frappe
Yes, it’s called a frappe, but I promise you don’t need your blender! In fact, this cocktail may just be the simplest on this list.
All you’ll need to whip up this delicious drink is four simple ingredients and one big glass full of ice.
How easy is that?
Ingredients: simple syrup, lemon wedge, mint leaves, Absinthe, soda water
13. New Orleans Old-Fashioned
You simply cannot go wrong with an old-fashioned Old Fashioned. But it’s also okay to tweak the OG drink to make it your own.
Take this recipe, for example. Using Peychaud bitters gives you a hint of fruity taste behind the bourbon.
If you love an Old Fashioned, you have to try this New Orleans twist! It may just become your favorite.
Ingredients: bourbon, simple syrup, Peychaud bitters, orange bitters, cocktail cherry (for garnish)
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