Reveillon on the Rocks: A Toast to a New Year

December 07, 2021
Let’s toast to the New Year! May all your joys be true joys, and all your pain champagne! What a year 2021 has been! Yet New Orleans is always a place for celebration, and we will be among the first to pop a champagne cork or toast with a drink crafted for the season. The “holidaze” and cocktails go together like gumbo and filé! At this most festive time of year, cheers and toasts abound! Pop that cork at one of our local brand-new or classic traditional bars for holiday memories to cherish. There’s always a reason to gather with friends and family to toast each other and celebrate life. Let’s explore some places to connect, celebrate the season, and indulge in a uniquely New Orleans experience.

Celebrating the rich and renowned history of New Orleans cocktail culture, Chandelier Bar is the glamorous new centerpiece of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. Rooted in tradition, Beverage Manager Hadi Ktiri’s purposeful menu reflects stellar executions of the Crescent City's most famous cocktails under the light of a jaw-dropping custom chandelier of 15,000 Bohemian crystals from the Czech Republic. Enjoy beautiful executions of New Orleans classics such as the Sazerac, Ramos Fizz, Hurricane, and French 75. Abuzz with celebration, Chandelier Bar also offers the City’s finest collection of premium champagnes and sparkling wines, including Dom Pérignon and Ruinart by the glass. Complementing the beverage program are caviar service and a menu by acclaimed New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, showcasing delicious upscale bar bites meant to be shared and savored.

Your night will sparkle as the twinkling gentle movement of the huge chandelier results in an alluring mood. The lobby is reminiscent of a garden pavilion with an interior atmosphere comprising an eclectic contemporary arrangement of classic curiosities, surrounded by a lush garden sanctuary. Live music is offered year-round, showcasing some of New Orleans’ most talented artists. Where Canal Street meets the river, 2 Canal Street,

The Warehouse District has a new neighbor! Virgin Hotel has reimagined boutique hotels in New Orleans. See how global trends inspire the cocktails and cuisine at Commons Club or take in a breathtaking view of the city skyline from The Pool Club, their rooftop pool and lounge. Commons Club is anything but common! Their cocktails embolden a palate-pleasing culinary menu while offering an ambience where guests and locals gather, imbibe, and share memories. Chef Alex Harrell’s menu features a blend of contemporary American cuisine with a Southern sensibility. He has received national accolades from the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit Magazine. Libation sensations include Oaks Magnolia with blood orange vodka, Grand Marnier cranberry, and lemon and Honey Lavender Spritz with Lillet Rose, honey, lavender, champagne, and soda. 550 Baronne Street,

Nestled inside the elegant Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, Peacock Room is an energetic and vibrant cocktail bar that effortlessly blends the eccentric personality of New Orleans’ bar culture with the old-world charm and sophistication of a classic social club. Peacock Room offers a contemporary selection of exceptional, hard-to-come-by spirits and evocative craft cocktails, along with a variety of enticing wine and beer. The menu consists of elevated small plates with shareable interpretations of regional classics curated by Executive Chef Chris Lusk. Their Peacock Burger with bacon-boursin cheese, crispy shallots, and tomato jam really hits the spot! Whether enjoying this fanciful cocktail bar for an afternoon aperitif, dinner, or a nightcap, guests are surrounded by a bohemian mix of art, vintage carpets and velvet upholstery. Peacock Room serves divine craft cocktails and surprises at every turn. Preened and pristine, their nest is ornately decorated to transport you to another moment in time…one where drinks flow freely, soulful sounds fill the air, and the folks at the table next to you become your best friends for the night. Sunday Brunch, aptly named “Birds of a Feather, Brunch Together” is served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Paula Echevarria, a longtime local cocktail creator and writer, developed their wonderful cocktail menu. Cocktails such as the Primp and Preen are served, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus and blue curaçao; a Ruby Bridges made with gin, Cynar, citrus, strawberry, and basil; and Flock To Me with vodka, Cocchi Americano, melon, and spirulina falernum. Each specialty cocktail includes a few helpful adjectives to aid one in anticipating the flavors of the drink. Just like the galleries and museums in the Warehouse Arts District, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot was made to be on display. 501 Tchoupitoulas Street.

The famous Carousel Bar & Lounge in Hotel Monteleone, the elegant hotel founded by Antonio Monteleone in 1886, is a long-time favorite New Orleans hotspot. Opened in 1949, this bar has been spinning for over seventy years and is the only revolving bar in town. For decades, it has lured guests to take a spin on the 25-seat, bright, circus-clad Merry-Go-Round. It is a staple on the New Orleans cocktail trail and full of literary history; wordsmiths like Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote were not only regulars but many wove stories based in the bar into their works. Recently, Vogue Living named their bar one of the Top 20 Bars in the World, due in equal parts to their whimsical revolving carousel and their comprehensive list of cocktails. For the holidays, try their seasonal “Holiday Sidecar” made with Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Ferrand Dry Curacao, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup, topped with sparkling wine and garnished with a twist of fresh orange. Or perhaps you may prefer their “Reveillon Buttered Rum” with Plantation Dark Rum, honey syrup, and hot Earl Grey tea, topped with a pat of Steens butter, and garnished with a twist of orange and a cinnamon stick. Surely, this will get you in a festive mood!

The Carousel Bar & Lounge, frequented by locals and visitors alike, overlooks Royal Street where guests can enjoy the best people watching in the French Quarter. With its regular entertainment schedule of live local music and craft cocktail selection, this hotel bar has become one of the most popular bars in the French Quarter. No visit to New Orleans would be complete without a ride on the Carousel Bar. Open daily from 11 a.m. until midnight with live entertainment every Friday and Saturday. 214 Royal Street,

The Roosevelt is a luxury hotel located steps away from the French Quarter. On November 30, The Roosevelt will unveil the hotel’s spectacular, block-long holiday décor and hold a ceremonial lighting of more than 112,000 lights, 1,600 feet of garland, and 4,000 glass ornaments adorning the beloved Waldorf Wonderland in its opulent, grand lobby. Visitors from near and far are welcome to take in the sights and sounds of the Crescent City’s go-to hotel for seasonal festivities and enjoy the Sazerac Bar’s annual handcrafted holiday season libation. It ranked on Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the top ten hotels in New Orleans in their 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and CNN Travel’s #1 Hotel Bar in the Americas. You can almost sense the history as you walk into the Roosevelt Hotel’s signature Sazerac Bar. The bar honors the world’s first mixed drink with a historic watering hole decorated with dark walnut, chandeliers, and striking wall-length murals of old New Orleans by 1930s artist Paul Ninas. Famed Louisiana Governor Huey Long, the original Kingfish, was so enamored by the bar that he lived on the 12th floor of the hotel and conducted many meetings there and enjoyed many of his favorite cocktails, the Ramos Gin Fizz. Perhaps the only thing that could make the wonderment of the Roosevelt’s illuminated lobby even more dazzling would be to experience it with a themed cocktail in hand. Try the storied Sazerac cocktail featuring Sazerac Rye, simple Syrup, a few dashes of Peychaud Bitters and Herbsaint poured into a chilled glass rubbed around the rim with a lemon peel. A Winter Old Fashioned featuring Sazerac Rye, apple-clove syrup and orange and cranberry bitters will certainly brighten your day. 130 Roosevelt Way,

In the lobby of the Royal Sonesta, The Jazz Playhouse is dedicated to preserving the rich musical tradition and the continued evolution of New Orleans Jazz. The club enlivens the senses in an upscale yet playful atmosphere while showcasing our greatest musicians nightly. They offer jazz-inspired signature drinks and a variety of classic Creole bites by Desire Oyster Bar. This stylish spot recreates the jazz clubs of Bourbon Street’s 1950s heyday. Pop in on Friday night, when New Orleans’ best burlesque performers put a modern spin on a classic 1960s Burlesque with live music, bringing quality Jazz and Burlesque back to its original home at 300 Bourbon Street.

Try one of their seasonal handcrafted libations! They will serve a Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned made with Elijah Craig Bourbon infused with a toasted pecan, chicory-pecan bitters, and Demerara syrup. Or try The Baby Grand with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Herring Cherry Liqueur, cinnamon syrup, hot coffee, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. The refreshing La Mure features Cathead Vodka, Crème de Mure Blackberry Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and house sparkling wine. A great nightcap would be the High Note made with Grey Goose Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, topped with whipped cream and graham cracker crumbles.

Cheers to a New Year! May all your troubles during 2022 be as short as your New Year’s resolutions!