New Orleans is referred to by some as the Birthplace of the Cocktail and is well-known today as a city that loves to mix and savor a fine drink. We spice up our milk and coffee with brandy, we name our restaurants after liquors, even our street names call to mind whiskey and wine.
New Orleans’ first cocktail, the Sazerac, was invented in the mid-1800s, followed soon after by the Ramos Gin Fizz in the 1880s. The Gin Fizz was so delicious that in 1935, Huey P. Long took a Roosevelt Hotel bartender with him to New York to show them how to make his favorite drink properly.
The 1940s were a high time in New Orleans cocktail history. New Orleans was introduced to its first revolving bar – the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone – in 1940. In 1942, Pat O’Brien’s opened in its current French Quarter location and has since made the Hurricane a world-famous drink. And in 1949, women declared their right to a fine cocktail by breaking the 100-year-old men-only rule at the Sazerac Bar. (Until that time, women were only allowed to drink at the Sazerac
on Mardi Gras day, when, as we all know, all rules are off.)
On July 21st, the Museum of the American Cocktail opens in New Orleans in the Riverwalk Mall. Stop in to see the exhibit, and the impressive array of historical bar
paraphernalia, history, literature and music. Then enjoy the summer afternoon with a cocktail in the shade, waxing nostalgic on your own New Orleans cocktail memories.