New Orleans is the city which never stops as many top spots and attractions are open 24 hours a day and the party seems never-ending as it crawls through streets from Bourbon to Decatur, well into Frenchman and off onto the cruisers traveling in the mighty Mississippi.
Most come to New Orleans to indulge in their sense of whimsy and fun while spending the nights wrapped up in the music which weaves its way into their souls. For this reason, some of the most popular drinks have made their presence known in this city of action and adventure and much like the fun which echos in the streets, the drinks are strong and filled with robust flavors.
But where can you find those must haves in a sea of options in the French Quarter? And just what makes them so much different than others?
1 - Hurricane - Pat O’Briens
This is the home of the Hurricane, so what better place to get one than the where it was founded. Originally concocted in the 1940’s to help move excessive amounts of cheap rum that the owner was stuck purchasing in order to get his more high quality stocks for the bar, this drink used to be served up free to sailors in an attempt to get them to come into the bar. But who would have thought that something so cheaply made could actually be so good and quickly it wasn’t just sailors looking for the popular drink on Bourbon Street.
Variations of the drink now are served up in almost ever bar and restaurant across the country, but this is the home and thus the unmatched and uniquely strong blend can’t be surpassed.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to stop in, maybe the flaming fountain in the giant courtyard or the piano bar that keeps that New Orleans charm will convince you!
Price: $12 large or $125 for giant (this serves over 10 and is a must see before you judge it)
2 - Grenade - Tropical Isle
1984’s World Expo might have been known for a lot of things, but the only one that we seem to remember is the founding of the Hand Grenade drink at Tropical Isle. Looking for a signature drink to set them apart for the crowds of people filtering into the city owners of the bar created a melon flavored drink that rivaled the Hurricane in the French Quarter. It became infamous and by the 90s began being served in its green signature plastic yard glass which allows it to be carried onto the street.
Now the drink can be purchased frozen, on the rocks or without ice in two sizes for those brave enough to take on the signature strong drink. You will see other yard glasses but remember they are not this drink unless you see the little grenade at the bottom, so while those might be tasty, you haven't had anything until you have had one of these staples.
4 Locations are available to find your drink scattered all along Bourbon Street but if you want the original check out the one at 600 Bourbon Street and see where the magic happens and history was originally created!
Price: $8 small or $10 large
3 - Cafe Au Lait - Cafe Du Monde
So in a sea of alcoholic drinks why coffee you might ask? But this isn’t your average coffee, it is coffee done New Orleans style with chicory coffee and a perfect blend of warm milk that will keep you up on those long nights just in case you seem to be falling asleep amongst all the action or wake you up to start your day.
What a lot of people don’t know is coffee entered the US first through the ports of New Orleans in the mid-1700s. As the French began to settle in ports along the Mississippi they brought with them their traditions and their imports, amongst those this tasty drink we have come to love. In settling the area they turned to other derivatives which were more available to make their coffee and found chicory, the root of endive plant to have similarities to beans and when roasted it made for a strong robust flavor.
Cafe Du Monde opened in 1862 and began rolling the chicory coffee blend with warm milk to the masses 24 hours a day 7 days a week with the exceptions of Christmas Day and an occasionally hurricane. This popular drink is the longest standing single drink served in New Orleans and a must have when in the city.
Price: $2.73 regular or $4.10 large