Next week we’ll be heading to New Orleans to join thousands of other physical therapy specialists for the 2018 APTA Combined Sections Meeting. While there we’ll be soaking up everything the Big Easy has to offer, from Beignets to ghost tours and, of course, the famed New Orleans Sazerac. No trip to NOLA is complete without at least one of these iconic cocktails. With hundreds of bars to choose from it can be a bit of guest work in ensuring your ordering the best version of this classic drink. To help you on your quest, we’ve done the research (hard work, we know) and picked our top 5 places to grab this New Orleans staple.
First Off, What Is a Sazerac?
The Sazerac is thought by many to be one of the first cocktails created in America. It’s also the official cocktail of New Orleans created by French Quarter mixologist Antoine Amédée (allegedly). The Sazerac is made a little different depending on which bar you go to, but in general, the ingredients are:
- Cognac(classic) or Rye/Bourbon whiskey
- Simple syrup
- Peychaud’s bitters
- Absinthe wash
Here’s our picks for the best Sazerac in the city.
337 Carondelet St
When they name the bar after the famous cocktail, you know you’re in the right spot! While the historic bar has changed owners (and locations) over the year, it now calls the Roosevelt Hotel home. The bar has been restored to reflect the grandeur and elegance of the original establishment. The perfect classic spot to enjoy a classic cocktail.
214 Royal St
Located in the Hotel Monteleone, The Carousel Bar & Lounge has been slinging the classic Sazerac for over 65 years. During this time thousands of patrons have gathered beneath the majestic glow of the bars 25-seat, circus-clad Merry-Go-Round. Don’t let the glitz and glamor fool you, the bartenders at this festive establishment turn out one mean cocktail.
240 Bourbon St
For almost 200 years, one of the oldest bars in the historic French Quarter, the Old Absinthe House, has been serving Sazeracs, Manhattans, and other classic cocktails. They also boast a tasty collection of their namesake. A perfect respite for CSM attendees seeking a taste of the Green Fairy.
900 Chartres St
If you’re a lover of the dive bar, you aren’t going to want to miss this! Harry’s Corner starts serving bright and early (10:00 am)! This cash-only establishment has some of the cheapest beers in the city. Saddle up to regulars and tourists alike as you enjoy their take on the official New Orleans cocktail.
823 Decatur Street
Nothing much has changed from the original 1856 Tujague’s Bar. The long cypress bar is still a welcome site for patrons old and new, and the ornately-frame French mirror (shipped from Paris in 1856) stands as a revered guard over guests. Tujauge’s is the perfect spot for an after-work happy hour, a weekend brunch, or that much-needed mid-conference team building activity.
Other New Orleans Cocktails You Need to Try
Sazerac’s aren’t the only cocktail born in New Orleans. While attending the CSM conference, be sure to order up a:
- The Hurricane
- Ramos Gin Fizz
- Absinthe Frappe