Jazz Up Your Evenings with Refreshing Cocktails

March 03, 2023
Imaginative cuisine, world-class musical performances and tantalizing aromas are easy to find at our festivals. It’s a great time to let your hair down, wear your comfy colorful clothes, and indulge your senses while celebrating from “soup to nuts”—or should we say “Crawfish Monica to Sazeracs”. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating round of cocktails after a long hot day of festing!

Just when you think you have seen it all in New Orleans, someone will hopefully say, “Hold my Sazerac” and show you something truly amazing … like free drinks in a beautifully renovated building along with a unique history lesson, all within an easy stroll from the French Quarter! You are invited to The Sazerac House to experience timeless traditions and history worth repeating, self-guided tours, interactive cocktail exhibits and exclusive spirit tastings in celebration and preservation of good times. The Sazerac House is one-part history and traditions, two-parts interactive exhibits and experiences, mixed with spirited events and a dash of rich New Orleans culture. Experience distinctive tastes and traditions where the past, present and future come together … over cocktails, of course.

The Sazerac House is a multi-floor, multi-media, interactive dive into the intoxicating world of a whiskey brand. It houses a museum, a bar, and a distillery, all with a masterfully artistic vision and striking interior design. The distillery showcases how a grain makes its way into your glass, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at whiskey production. It details the start of cocktail culture in the Crescent City, what has changed, and what will always remain the same. In particular, you’ll learn about the evolution of the Sazerac, now the city’s official cocktail. All ages are welcome and you can sample the wares if you’re old enough! Seize the day and you’re your complimentary tickets at sazerachouse.com.

Try the complimentary samples of The Sazerac Cocktail and Planters Punch! The Sazerac Cocktail skillfully mixes Sazerac Rye Whiskey, a sugar cube, and three dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. All are stirred with ice and strained into a Herbsaint coated Old Fashioned glass and topped with a lemon twist garnish. Planters Punch combines Myer’s Rum, simple syrup, lime juice, a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters shaken together and strained over fresh ice into a short Collins glass with an optional cherry garnish. If you’d like to sample another refreshing staple, the Ramos Gin Fizz combines Henry Ramos Gin, one fresh egg white, lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, heavy cream, three dashes of orange flower water, topped with soda water until the foam rises above the rim of the glass.

The Country Club New Orleans has been a neighborhood gem for more than 45 years. This historic Bywater home offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. The Country Club was built in 1884 to serve as an historic Italianate raised center hall cottage. With a grand hardwood and granite bar, beautifully appointed dining rooms, and a lush bohemian retreat with cabana lounge and salt water pool, this oasis is the ultimate place for locals and tourists to come together over food, drink and fun.

With a little finery, a little funk and a lot of love, The Country Club is your “home away from home” in our charming Bywater neighborhood bordering the French Quarter. Enjoy a locally-inspired menu that speaks to Italian-French and Creole-Southern heritages, an award-winning wine program and creative cocktails in a casual, welcoming and beautiful art filled environment that is accepting of all. Try the Piscola which blends Caravedo Pisco with Cocktail & Sons Lemon-Lime Oleo Saccharum, a Colonial punch base made by muddling citrus peels with sugar. The combination of hand-carved orange and lemon peels with Louisiana sugar for a lengthy maceration process topped off with fresh cut lemongrass, toasted cardamom, and dried ginger yields an unforgettable flavor! Add some soda for effervescence and garnish with a lime wedge for the perfect summertime cocktail. Delicious! The Aged Daiquiri combines house-aged Three Roll Rum distilled in Louisiana from an all-molasses fermentation rested in French oak vats. The rum is pulled in small batches and finished in American Oak barrels. Mix in Orgeat Syrup which has a distinctive almond flavor with a hint of sweet citrus, adding a distinct complexity to this unique cocktail. Garnish with a lime wedge for a simply scrumptious treat! Enjoy Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays with $3 well drinks and $5 house margaritas, house wine, Tito’s cocktails and local draft beers. The poolside bar is a great place to sip and enjoy the eye candy!

Mahony’s Original Po-Boys & Seafood at 901 Iberville St. and the original Mahony’s on Magazine Street are known for their award-winning po-boys, but they also offer an overstuffed menu of comfort foods, delicious salads, perfectly fried or grilled seafood, gumbo, crispy pork belly with watermelon, even Crawfish Monica, a Jazz Fest favorite!

Casey Levy, a native New Orleanian and Director of Operations for Mahony’s, grew up working in his family’s West End restaurants. He apprenticed with previous chefs of Commander’s, Copeland’s of New Orleans, and P.F. Chang’s and has developed excellent culinary chops. Like many folks raised here, he has spent his fair share of time in line at our beloved Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, a family-owned sno-ball stand mainstay since 1939. It’s famous for soft-shaved ice and homemade syrups with a unique layering process. Levy built on this scrumptious treat by adding an alcoholic component to turn our beloved sno-ball into a sno-tail! There are many variations on classics and natural built flavors, but my favorite for the hot and balmy festival season is the Ponchatoula Strawberry Basil Lemonade. This Twisted Sno starts with a fresh Meyer lemon basil syrup that is always refrigerated to retain the sharpness of the lemon added to finely shaved ice from his Sno Wizard machine. Stuffed inside the sno-tail is a generous serving of Hardhide Ponchatoula Strawberry Whiskey infused soft serve ice cream rightfully called “Strawberry’s Revenge!” This whiskey is made from strawberries fresh from the fields in Ponchatoula, the “Strawberry Capital of the World” about an hour north of New Orleans. As if this isn’t decadent enough, it is topped with whipped condensed milk, fresh Ponchatoula strawberries, and an additional “monkey bite” pipette filled with even more Strawberry Whiskey! A refreshing double kick for sure!

After chowing down on some crispy pork belly with watermelon or Crawfish Monica or any of the other amazing offerings at Mahony’s, try a sno-tail to top off a perfect meal. If you are just too stuffed, you can just order the infused Twisted ice cream for dessert for a refreshing finish or even get a pint or quart to go. Trust me, you will be back for more!

Curtains down, bottoms up! For an unforgettable backstage experience, follow the cryptic flashing neon face drawing you into an underground vaudeville of secrets and illusions. The Double Dealer is filled with theatrical delights and live performances. It’s a premier underground cocktail bar that emulates the backstage setting of a 1920s vaudeville theater, specializing in creative and unforgettable cocktails and experiences.

Hidden beneath the historic Orpheum Theater, the Double Dealer offers a vaudeville-era backstage setting with four distinct rooms and snug booths outfitted with antique velvet stage curtains. It is poetically and literally underground in what was once the theater’s ice pit! A basement ice pit was the source of the modern convenience of air conditioning in large buildings a century ago. Try one of the private two-person booths behind the bar; perfect for date night! Thick velvet privacy curtains enhance the intimate vibe. There’s a pass-through window for the bartenders to supply you with rounds.

Sip on one of their classic Prohibition-era cocktails named after short stories and poems from the original Double Dealer magazine. The Double Dealer was a literary magazine published from 1921 to 1926 that was described as “an incubator of local literary culture and a conduit of Modernism.” It featured work by a who’s-who of American writers, including the first works of William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and others.

Unwrap a delightful surprise with every sip of their signature Wedding Gifts cocktail. A perfect blend of jasmine-infused vodka, the tangy sweetness of pomegranate, a hint of ginger, shaken with a splash of lime, this cocktail is the embodiment of sophistication and class. Each sip is a tantalizing combination of tart and citrusy flavors, sure to leave you longing for more. Or if you dare, step into the world of high stakes and adventure with their Morituri Agonisti cocktail. A mesmerizing mix of rye, calvados, Cio Ciaro, falernum, and a touch of Angostura, this elevated Manhattan is the perfect drink for those who seek to live life on the edge. Each sip is a seductive balance of bold flavors, taking you on a mysterious journey where anything is possible. Similar to a jaunt through the French Quarter, you will find adventure, history, and mystery around every corner.