Many say cocktails were invented in New Orleans, with the birth of the Sazerac in the early 1800s. The original recipe, created by Creole apothocary owner Antoine Peychaud, included Antonine’s French brandy Sazerac-de-Forge et fils cognac. While the recipe for the drink has been tweaked over the years — mainly due to a phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century that destroyed European vineyards — New Orleans’ passion for quality libations can still be seen today through its numerous craft cocktail bars, speakeasies, and farm-to-bar venues.
The truth is, while the rest of the country was experiencing a shift in the cocktail culture during the '70s and began focusing on quickly made drinks with cheap ingredients, New Orleans stayed true to its roots. Locals in this city expect quality when it comes to food and drink, and that’s something that will probably never change.
As an avid craft cocktail drinker, I made a trip to visit the city for myself to explore some of the top New Orleans cocktail bars. Finding these kinds of establishments isn’t too difficult, as the standard for quality and service in New Orleans is so high that even the corner stores offer delicious meals and drinks. And while the iconic Bourbon Street does house a few venues offering carefully prepared drinks made with quality ingredients, you can assume any place with loud MCs coaxing girls to eat a pie from between a stranger’s legs or drunk tourists chucking beads at any girl who will lift her top is more focused on quantity over quality. Click through the slideshow to see what places are really worth the trip, staying true to New Orleans' roots.
— Jessica Festa, Epicure & Culture
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