Words by: Simon Difford
New Orleans is the spiritual home of the cocktail, and its history is intertwined with grand saloons, fine drinks and jazz. The Ramos Gin Fizz and the Sazerac were born here, as was Ernest Beaumont-Gantt, who would become Donn Beach and originate Tiki culture. People have devoted whole books to the subject of New Orleans drinks but follows the best-known cocktails to have originated in the city.
Created by Cayetano Ferrer at Aleix's Coffee House, which he renamed The Absinthe Room in 1874. Today the establishment is fittingly known as the Old Absinthe House.
A vintage New Orleans favourite. Also spelt 'Suissesse' and sometimes made with absinthe, vermouth, sugar, crème de menthe and egg white shaken and topped with sparkling water.
Created in the 1840s-50s by Joseph Santina at the Jewel of the South, Gravier Street.
Brandy Milk Punch
A New Orleans variant of the drink that enjoyed nationwide popularity during Prohibition.
De La Louisiane #1
The signature cocktail of Crescent City's Restaurant de la Louisiane, which opened in 1881. See also
Created at Tujague's Bar, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, which Guillaume Tujague opened in 1856. Some time before he died in 1912, he sold the restaurant to Philibert Guichet, who won second prize in a prestigious New York cocktail competition with this drink.
Named after the shape of a hurricane lamp and served in the tall, shapely glass of the same name. This is actually thought to have originated in 1939 at The Hurricane Bar, New York City, but owes its fame to Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans.
Jean Lafitte Cocktail
A New Orleans classic named after the infamous privateer and hero of the battle of New Orleans.
Ramos Gin Fizz
Created in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos when he opened his Imperial Cabinet Bar. The recipe was kept secret until the onset of Prohibition when his brother, Charles Henry Ramos, published it in a full-page advertisement. Since 1935, the Roosevelt Hotel (now named The Fairmont), New Orleans, has held the trademark on the name Ramos Gin Fizz.
This classic New Orleans cocktail takes its name from Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac, mayor between 1820 and 1828. Roffignac is noted for introducing street lights to the city and laying cobblestones on the roads in the French Quarter.
Believed to be the first vodka-based cocktail t appear in print, the Russian Cocktail is thought to originally come from the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans.
Created in 1858 by Leon Lamothe at the Sazerac Coffee House at 13 Exchange Alley. The bar was owned by John B. Schiller, who was also the local agent for a French cognac company called Sazerac-du-Forge et Fils of Limoges (of which the drink was originally made). Today the name Sazerac is owned by the Sazerac Company, who license it to the Sazerac Bar at the Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans.
Created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at what is now the Carousel bar at the Monteleone Hotel, New Orleans. Pronounced 'Voo-Ka-Ray', it is named after the French term for the city's French Quarter and literally translates as 'old square'.