Bill and I went to New Orleans for our wedding anniversary (four years) and milestone of when we met (10 years). While there we had a lot of good food and drinks, met up with friends for a day and saw a lot of great sights. This post is about the great drinks we had in the Big Easy, but I also wrote about the wonderful food we ate.
Last time I was in New Orleans was two weeks after my 21st birthday. Needless to say, the drinks were mostly hurricanes and daiquiris. Not that they aren’t great, but I this time expanded my drinking.
My first drink was a NOLA Blonde at lunch with a delicious gumbo. The flavors played off one another really well with crisp, spicy drinks following a bite of gumbo. When on vacation I try to drink either local beers or beers not available in South Florida. This trip I also had a Lazy Magnolia N’Awlins Ale and an Abita Amber, two other solid beers. I was hoping to try more Abita, but it didn’t work out.
I will admit I had two different hurricanes while in New Orleans, including (only) one at Pat O’Briens, which is home to this sweet rum drink. I know the rum can sneak up on you in these drinks, so I stuck with one and opted to spend time catching up with friends who met us in New Orleans for a day.
Speaking of rum, we took a tour of the Old New Orleans Rum distillery, which was pretty cool explaining how rum is made. It was liberal with the samples, but I’m older and wiser to this town now, so I kept myself in check. I disliked the 10-year rum (tasted like whiskey!) and really liked the warming (not hot) taste of the Cajun Spice rum.
We had the best drinks our last night in New Orleans. We went to the Napoleon House, an old bar that had a great atmosphere, and sat in the courtyard. (I love the courtyards in New Orleans!) There we tried the house specialty Pimm’s Cup, which is gin, lemonade and a splash of citrus soda with a cucumber. It’s very refreshing after a day of walking in the sun. We also tried the sazerac, which is considered the oldest cocktail in the America, first made in New Orleans. Sazerac has a very specific preparation method and ingredients, including rye whiskey, absinthe, bitters, sugar and a twist of lemon. It. Was. Amazing. I was very surprised I even liked it since it has whiskey and absinthe, but all the flavors played well and balanced it out into the perfect drink. I still can’t stop thinking about it or wanting another. This was the perfect way to end such a perfect trip.
Have you ever been anywhere where the drinks help define the location as much as New Orleans? I’m always interested in specialty drinks for specific locations.