Good, bad, or otherwise, as the birthplace of the cocktail, drinking culture is tightly woven into the social fabric of everyday life in New Orleans, where Prohibition was greeted with a chuckle. New Orleans’ bars and lounges are as numerous and diverse as the people who populate them and the reasons for their patronage. 

That patronage comes at a cost.

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When heading out for a drink we are satisfying a craving to escape, seeking a vibe that will inspire us, thinking about the ‘gram, and Gramp’s neighborhood gin mill will not suffice. We want a dreamy atmosphere, a specific sense of place, comfort that compels us to hang out, and craft cocktails and mocktails (because teetotalers and the sober curious have whims, too) made with fresh juices and whimsical garnishes served in aesthetically pleasing vessels that make us feel glamorous as we lift them to our lips. We are building fantasies and the places we choose are the stages for our performance art. 

Robert LeBlanc, founder and creative director of the boutique hospitality firm LeBlanc+Smith, the force behind Sylvain, The Chloe, The Will & The Way, Barrel Proof and Anna’s, said society’s social media obsession is changing the concepts for how hotels, restaurants and bars are developed. 

“The bar has been raised over the years in hospitality to create spaces that are curated very intelligently and for a specific audience and to have aesthetics that are memorable,” explains LeBlanc. “Insta is a factor in all stages of hospitality development. During the initial ideation phase, Insta is a source of inspiration and for the collection of ideas. It’s the best digital mood board. During the actual development and construction phase, Insta can be used to begin to build community by keeping people abreast of development updates with great ‘see it here first, behind-the-scenes content. Upon opening, the platform can be used to draw people into a space and establish its brand in a detailed and layered way. It does not hurt that we have distinct spaces and beautiful Instagram-able cocktails.”

None of the places represented in our exploration of New Orleans’ contemporary cocktail culture has a dress code, per se, but they all have a special air about them that will leave you feeling awkward in shorts and flip flops, so step it up a bit.

You want to look good for the ‘gram.

Cocktail Hour

Charm Offensive

2 ounces (60 ml) Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller #2 or Single Barrel Select whiskey
½ ounce (15 ml) Giffard crème de pêche liqueur
21 drops Bitter Truth celery bitters
10 drops Bittermens
Hellfire habanero shrub
3 drops Saline Solution Mint sprig, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass filled with ice, garnish with the mint sprig and serve.


Cocktail Hour
photo by Arnaud Montagard

Columns Hotel

3811 St. Charles Ave, 504-899-9308,

Following a comprehensive renovation and restoration by hotelier Jayson Seidman that managed to keep a wisp of the vague air of funkiness that endears it to locals, Columns Hotel is once again a primo spot for watching the world pass down St. Charles Avenue. Originally built in 1883 in a Thomas Sully design, through Seidman’s careful work many of the building’s original architectural details were preserved and restored—including the dramatic mahogany stairwell that rises to meet a domed stained-glass skylight with an elaborate sunburst motif. The cheesy baby blue, stackable banquet chairs and Maw Maw’s ornately sashed drapes have been banished from the double parlor. In their place are bare windows that reveal the gardens beyond to imbibers relaxing upon clubby leather sofas and cushy armchairs clustered into conversational groupings. The Victorian Lounge itself, once dark, dank, dated, and dreary, has kept its sense of history while welcoming a fresh, sexy lighting package, blessedly bare windows, and radically improved seating. The bloom has returned to the rose.

On Beverage Director Carlos Quinonez’ cocktail menu you will find the expected classics — Sazerac, Pimm’s Cup, Gold Rush, Rattlesnake—as well as house creations and a selection of reserve cocktails—the Baller Highball (18 St. George Baller single malt, lemon, sparkling water), Boulevardier (20 1757 Vermouth di Ttorino, Willett Family Estate rye, Campari) and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned (25 Penta Reposado, Los Vecinos Tobala, mole bitters, orange). A food menu created by Chef Mike Stolzfus of Coquette and executed by Executive Chef Paul Terrebonne is inventive yet approachable.

Sipping on the deep veranda, seeing the rumbling streetcar making its way under a canopy of oaks fulfills the city’s graceful moonlight and magnolias vision of languorous beauty.

Cocktail Hour

New Orleans Drinks & How to Mix ‘Em

All recipes excerpted from Cure: New Orleans Cocktails and How to Mix ‘Em from the Award-Winning Bar by Neal Bodenheimer

Each recipe makes one cocktail

Straight out of college in Austin, Texas, Neal Bodenheimer began his bartending career in New York, working first at Atlantic Grill and later with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality. Following Hurricane Katrina, he returned home to New Orleans where he ignited a renaissance in the city’s cocktail culture. A James Beard Award winner and consummate source of hometown pride, Bodenheimer has penned Cure: New Orleans Cocktails and How to Mix ‘Em from the Award-Winning Bar (Abrams, 2022) with Emily Timberlake and photography by Denny Culbert. Gorgeous and indispensable to the at-home cocktail enthusiast, the book drops October 25, just time to tidy up every imbiber on your holiday gift list. 

Not just a collection of 100 recipes chosen to represent New Orleans’ past, present, and future, Cure is a love letter to our vibrant city and the cast of characters that have had a hand in crafting its singular sense of place. The book features interviews with local figures such as Ian Neville, musician and New Orleans funk royalty, and Pableaux Johnson, a writer and photographer who builds community through weekly Monday red beans and rice dinners, plus a few tips on how to survive your first Mardi Gras. Along the way, the reader consumes the rich history and complexity of New Orleans and the libations it inspired, as well as the techniques and practices the team at Cure has perfected in their mission to craft new inventions rather than relying on the tried and true. That said Cure painstakingly explores the classics every self-respecting drinker should have in their wheelhouse, especially if you’re a New Orleanian: the Sazerac, Julep, Vieux Carré, Ramos Gin Fizz, Cocktail à la Louisiane and French 75. Important New Orleans chefs have contributed straightforward recipes for snacks with local flavor, perfect for pairing with these cocktails. 


Cocktail Hour

The Chandelier Bar

2 Canal St. (in The Four Seasons Hotel), 504-434-5100,

If Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe were seeking cocktails in New Orleans this would be their hangout. Taking its name from a massive custom chandelier bedecked with 15,000 shimmering Bohemian crystals (do not kill your buzz contemplating cleaning it), this stunner oozes glamour. The impact is particularly effective by night when moody lighting and deep, plush armchairs invite the drinker to linger over tasteful live music. The 85-seat space is subdivided by contemporary shutter screens of oak, iron, and curated works from local and international artists to create intimate gathering spaces.

The bar turns out excellent takes on the classics as well as house inventions “meant to transport guests through creative storytelling and art,” according to Bar Manager Hadi Ktiri. Ktiri’s specialty libations include the Chandelier Martini (blend of dry and aromatic gins, extra dry vermouth, citrus bitters and herbal mist with a bounty of accompaniments) and two zero proof selections: Jazzland (spiced citrus tea, pomegranate, hibiscus and Polynesian Kiss bitters) and Nada Colada (coconut, pineapple, lime, orange). Caviar service rounds out the swank.

The Paradise Lounge at Hotel St. Vincent

1507 Magazine St. (Hotel St. Vincent), 504-350-2450,

Following a massive overhaul, when it opened last year Hotel St. Vincent bore not a trace of the sad, hulking orphanage it was when it opened in 1861. The property is now a luxurious oasis with two memorable restaurants and several bars, including The Paradise Lounge, the hotel’s vibrant, sun-drenched lobby bar that blurs the line between indoors and out. A mural of tropical leaves and Birds of Paradise scrolls the walls and the intricate tile floors invite the clickety-clack of ladies’ heels. Conical wicker swag lamps hover over the ornate bar and lush foliage in both the indoor and outdoor spaces transport the drinker to historic Indochina. The cocktail menu drifts pleasantly from light spritzers (Roman Highball – Montenegro, lime, ginger, sparkling water, Angostura bitters) to house creations (Scarlatta – Hendrick’s gin, beet infused vodka, rose cordial, lemon, mint, and Polynesian Kiss bitters) and a variety of martinis. Happy Hour is offered Monday – Friday from 3-5 p.m. with half off Spritz and $2 off beer, wine and cocktails.

Cocktail Hour

The Gilded Perch

7004 St Charles Ave. (in the Parkview Historic Hotel), 504-861-7564,

The Parkview Historic Hotel overlooking Audubon Park was erected in 1884 as an exclusive guest house to serve those visiting New Orleans’ newly subdivided plantation lands to the west of the French Quarter. In 2009, Liz and Terry Creel bought the old guesthouse and restored it to highlight their collections of 19th century New Orleans antiques and artwork. In early June, the Creels converted one of the building’s old libraries/parlors into The Gilded Perch, a diminutive, jewel box of a space loaded with wonderful details: a stunning mural by Anne Smith Reeves and intricate woodwork by Chip Mortensen. The top of the bar is of white marble from a tear down at Charity Hospital where the Creels met while he was an E.R. doctor and she a social worker. All of this is overseen by Kipling, a grand, beloved taxidermized peacock (died of natural causes on the Creels’ farm) on a gilded perch. 

Seating spills out beyond the tiny bar into the comfortable parlors and onto the front porch overlooking the avenue and the park. The gorgeous little speakeasy serves wine and seasonal craft cocktails as well as interpretations on the classics. Try the Intergalactic Empress (Empress gin, yuzu, Nola Craft Culture edible glitter) and The Raspberry Honeypot (Chambord, vodka, sparkling wine, local honey). A Happy Hour is planned for the near future. Check the website and Instragram. 

Cocktail Hour

Alexa Pulitzer


Artist, designer, and New Orleanian Alexa Pulitzer is highly sought after for her memorable custom stationary and private label collections for exclusive brands. She has also been twice named to The Salonniere 100 list of fête-fabulous hosts who entertain with such remarkable flair that their party invitations are among the most coveted in the country.

I entertain for different reasons, Pulitzer said. “I take pride in always inviting different people. I may host to introduce people who are new to New Orleans. I craft events based on who I am inviting.”

“I almost always have live music. I always work with a mixologist to create a specialty cocktail or two, and I always work with a chef, and I match the chef to the event,” Pulitzer said. “I want interesting foods that are also healthy. There is no etouffee on my buffet!”

When planning a salon for 70 for the launch of her best friend Kirsha Kaechele’s book Eat the Problem, a tome exploring the possibility that killing and consuming invasive species offers a more sustainable and ethical solution to nutritional needs than current industrial farming practice, Pulitzer turned to Chef Brian Landry (Jack Rose), an enthusiastic hunter and fisher. Together they planned an invasive species menu of Apple Snail Escargot, Nutria Bolognese, and Wild Boar Chops with Sultana Beurre Blanc Over Polenta, the ingredients for which Landry foraged or hunted. For the bar she worked with celebrity mixologist Star Hodgson who created the Invasive Garden Coolers with invasive weeds from Pulitzer’s garden – Tequila Mockingbird (with burdock dandelion) and The Cat’s Meow (including cat’s claw vine).

“I host two types of events,” Pulitzer said, “a seated dinner or a salon. For smaller dinners I use my dining room. For larger seated dinners I rent tables and chairs and set one long table in my center hall. I curate who sits where with place cards and I never seat couples together.”

“For me, a salon always involves a live show. I built a large stage outside in my garden during the pandemic and I have a music room inside. For a salon I never seat guests. I want them to mingle. Flow is extremely important. A host must identify where people are going to condense so I open all my doors to the outside so there are many ways in and out.”

“When I host a salon, I typically serve buffet style on my 12-foot kitchen island with a specialty cocktail or two with plates, napkins, and cutlery next to it. For large events of 200 plus people I need to rent cutlery and dishes but, otherwise, I enjoy using an assortment of plates, pressed napkins, and cutlery from my personal stock.”

“I always do my own flowers. I grow Palms, Elephant Ears, Philodendron, Gardenias. Before an event I simply harvest from my garden. I may spray paint them. I might wrap a cutting board with a banana leaf from which I will arrange cheeses.”

A stationer, Pulitzer often creates a logo for an event for use on invitations, cups and napkins.

“I never use glass for a salon. I serve from plastic cups with a custom design. I have an outdoor pool and glass is not a good idea in that setting.”

Cocktail Hour

Summer Romance

1½ ounces (45 ml) Plymouth gin
½ ounce (15 ml) Boomsma Cloosterbitter liqueur
½ ounce (15 ml) Montanaro bianco vermouth
7 drops Bar Keep apple bitters
Lemon peel, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir to chill. Stir a bit longer than you might normally—this drink benefits from the extra dilution. Strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass filled with ice, garnish with the lemon peel and serve.


4905 Freret St., 504-302-2357,

In 2008, Matthew Kohnke spied a magnificent Edwardian former horse-and-buggy fire station, circa 1903, masquerading under the grime of a rundown electrician’s shop badly blasted by Katrina. The lusterless gem sat on a rundown stretch of the generally rundown Freret commercial corridor. Kohnke shared his finding with childhood friend, Neal Bodenheimer, who bought the building with the fulfilled intention of showcasing its inherent historical gifts. Together the lifelong friends designed Cure and opened in 2009, reigniting the Freret neighborhood in a resurgence that continues today and sparking New Orleans’ cocktail renaissance.

“The building is a character in itself” Bodenheimer said. “It’s just as much a part of the hospitality as the people that fill it today.” 

Over a decade in Cure still feels like a tantalizing secret. The evergreen, romantic cocktail bar is set with candle-lit tables and patrons can get in on the impressive bartending action from front row seats at the bar. A tropical courtyard carries the vibe outside. Bodeneheimer’s cocktail menu presents reinvented classics while breathing new life into forgotten formulas. The Reserve/Baller cocktails are worth the splurge. Check out the 1980s martini, made with genuine vintage Plymouth Gin from the New Wave decade.

Cocktail Hour

Ojen Cocktail

2 ounces (60 ml) Ojen
14 drops Peychaud’s bitters, plus 7 drops for garnish

Fill a chilled double-old fashioned glass with crushed ice. Pour the Ojen over the ice, add 14 drops of bitters, then stir or swizzle to agitate. Add more crushed ice to fill the glass, then stir or swizzle again. Add more crushed ice so it mounds over the rim of the glass, garnish with the remaining 7 drops of bitters, and serve

Cocktail Hour
photo by Kevin O’Mara

Cane & Table

1113 Decatur St, 504-581-1112,

Matthew Kohnke and Neal Bodenheimer teamed up on the original design for Cane & Table in 2013, transforming the 300-year-old structure built by the Ursuline nuns that devolved into a probable whorehouse (was once the Decatur Inn, the heart of a bygone red light district) into the highly atmospheric, perfectly imperfect pro-tiki bar it is today. Atmospherically, there’s an Old Havana vibe, sans the cigar smoke. With lofty ceilings, chandeliers, and peeling plaster walls, the barroom looks colonial. It segues into a hushed, leafy tropical courtyard. The celebration of New Orleans’ historic connection to the Caribbean plays on the tropical drinks that preceded the tiki movement launched by Don the Beachcomber. The drink menu ranges from familiar Piña Coladas to less-known creations such as Bombos. The Rare Finds section of the cocktail menu hits the high notes. Chef Alfredo “Fredo” Nogueria, a New Orleans native of Cuban descent, keeps the culinary menu tied to its sense of place with offerings like Coctel de Camarones, crab croquetas,  empanadas, and beef pepper pot.

Cocktail Hour

St. Charles Punch 

1 ounce (30 ml) Infantado ruby port
1 ounce (30 ml) Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac
¾ ounce (22.5 ml) fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce (22.5 ml) Lemon-Orange Oleo Simple Syrup or Cocktail & Sons Oleo Saccharum syrup
14 drops Angostura bitters

Dehydrated lemon wheel (or fresh if dried is unavailable), for garnish. Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a shaker without ice, dry-shake, then double-strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the lemon wheel and serve.




Cocktail Hour

Saba’s Lounge

5757 Magazine Street Suite B, 

Just weeks ago, Alon and Emily Shaya’s Pomegranate Hospitality unveiled Saba’s Lounge adjacent to the group’s flagship Israeli, restaurant, Saba. The new, sun-splashed space overlooks a lively stretch of Magazine Street just blocks from Audubon Park. On offer are Israeli-inspired cocktails and a list of curated unique and natural wines, alongside a menu of Saba’s signature salatim, hummus, wood-fired pita and desserts. Beverage highlights include special large-format classic cocktails such as Negroni, Old Fashioned, and Sazerac — served in a beautiful, hand-selected decanter meant to be a shared. Sexy, but still proper enough to bring your parents.

Cocktail Hour

Kit Wohl 

Kit Wohl, the doyenne of media relations and special events as CEO of her creative agency, Wohl & Co., launched New Orleans New Year’s Eve celebrations at Jax Brewery in 1984, numerous premieres and grand openings. Her clients include Popeyes, The Ritz-Carlton, Warner Bros, Smoothie King and Canal Place. She has authored and produced 16 published cookbooks including Secrets of a Tastemaker: Al Copeland, the Cookbook and Recipes and Spicy Delicious Memories to be released on September 13.

“My late client Al Copeland’s yacht, The Cajun Princess, was a floating hospitality suite. The upper deck was 100 feet long, and crowd-perfect flat. The salon below was set up as a lounge and dining area. The large galley was always staffed with chefs. Dockside, red and white circus tents were erected at the boat ramps, and chefs, servers, and musicians were brought in for entertainment. Of course, the food was pure New Orleans and shipments of fresh chicken, shrimp, and crawfish arrived daily no matter where in the world we happened to be. 

“While food and drink were plentiful and the setting luxurious, formality was not part of the vibe on The Cajun Princess. When we learned that a casual dinner invitation that had been extended to the Italian powerboat racing team (against which Al was to race his powerboat the next day) meant entertaining Princess Caroline of Monaco with her husband, Italian industrialist and powerboat racer, the late Stefano Casiraghi, we threw ourselves on the mercy of the food and beverage director of the hotel where we were docked. They were gracious enough to loan proper table settings to us.

“Fear of the inevitable and uncontrollable is what drives me as a hostess.”

Tips for entertaining:

  • Stretch out on the sofa and close your  eyes. Envision the event as if you are a  guest. Begin with transportation dropping  you off. Entry, greet host, find bar, etc. 
  • Rent a food warmer
  • Move the event out of doors,  weather allowing. 
  • Empty the living room or den of furniture and stage outside with carpets, sofas, end tables and coffee tables with lamps. 
  • Pre event: Clean all carpets and rugs several days before your event so they are completely dry. 
  • Have handy:  extension cords, light bulbs, portable light fixture, toilet paper, paper products, to-go containers, broom, mop, and dustpan, first aid supplies.  
  • Make a traffic plan for guest/service movements.


Cocktail Hour

Jewel of the South

1026 St. Louis St., 504-265-8816,

James Beard Award winner Chris Hannah’s elegant tavern—with historic finishes, details and footprint intact—is tucked into an 1835 Creole cottage on a ragged edge of the French Quarter. The main entry is accessed through a passageway to a lush, verdant courtyard that opens to reveal the antique bar that sets the vibe for the place. Jewel is named for a restaurant run by Joseph Santini, inventor of the Brandy Crusta, the first cocktail to incorporate fresh citrus juice. The menu of contemporary craft and classic cocktails in this soothing spot changes monthly, but always features Hannah’s muse—the house’s signature Brandy Crusta, a refreshing, old school blend of Cognac and citrus, garnished with lemon peel and presented in a sugared rim glass. Hannah has given new life to the largely forgotten but influential libation. If hunger strikes there is caviar, Wagyu and foie gras to take the edge off. Thirsty history/architecture buff? This one’s for you.


Cocktail Hour


727 Toulouse St. (in the Hotel Maison de Ville complex), 

The latest from the expert team behind Cure is situated in the former home of Antoine Amédée Peychaud, the alchemist from the French colony of Saint Domingue who prescribed and dispensed his patented concoction, Peychaud’s Bitters, then used the bitters as the foundation for his famous Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans. 

Legendary drinker and playwright Tennessee Williams also lived and wrote here so the spirits are thrumming in every way. 

Located steps from raunchy Bourbon Street, this diminutive spot with a tropical courtyard and fountain is a world away. Much of the seating is outdoors, so dress appropriately. Nick Jarrett is the man behind the masterfully executed libations. 


Cocktail Hour
photo by Randy Schmidt

Bar Marilou

544 Carondelet St. (in Maison de la Luz), 504-814-7711,

To access Bar Marilou, a former law library in a 1908 building that was once an annex for Gallier Hall, patrons may enter through the lobby of Maison de la Luz, or sneak in through the tropical garden. Guests of the Maison can enjoy private entrance through a secret bookcase. Blood-red bookshelves, tiger print carpet and barstools, a persimmon ceiling, touches of gold and ambient lighting enliven the salon-like interior of the first U.S. collaboration from Paris-based Quixotic Projects. The fanciful, magpie interiors were dreamed up by Los Angeles designer Pamela Shamshiri who drew inspiration from Gertrude Stein’s literary salons in her Paris apartment. 

The seasonal cocktail menu is inspired by the French West Indies, Paris and New Orleans with highlights of uncommon vermouths, sherries and amaros in aperitifs and other low-alcohol cocktails. To beat the scorching heat, consider The Gallic Spritz (Pineau des Charentes, grappa, green olives). Traditional cocktails are available upon request, just not on the menu. The food menu is limited, though outstanding: caviar, picturesque Pommes Marilou and artisan ice cream. Aperitif Hour is offered daily from 4-6 p.m. with drinks ranging from $7-$11; La Luz (split bottle of La Quita manzanilla sherry served with almonds & olives) for $35; $12 salt cod fritters with lemon aioli; and an Ossetra caviar canape for $18.


Cocktail Hour
photo by Giant Noise

The Peacock Room

501 Tchoupitoulas St. (in the Hotel Fontenot), 504-324-3073,

As bright and showy as its name implies, The Peacock Room in the Central Business District is a study in opulence and maximalism. Lush foliage, shimmering light fixtures, vivid shades of cobalt, teal, mauve, chartreuse and gold, and rich patterns and textures co-mingle under a gold coffered ceiling to create a sensual vibe throughout this sprawling space. An eclectic variety of velvet covered banquettes and deep armchairs occupy one room, leather sofas and tables grouped for conversation, another. Jordan Deis heads up the bar program with an extensive list of options—Classic, Zero Proof and Pride of the Flock with creations like Sackcloth and Ashes (Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch, Suntory Toki Whisky, Amaro Montenegro, Tamari). High Tea Punch for 2, a shareable bourbon punch, changes weekly and is served in a lovely old fashioned floral tea set that seems just right in this luxe, slightly kooky (in the best way), environment. There is a menu of shareables from Executive Chef Chris Lusk. An Early Birds happy hour is offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and features $7 Cocchi Rosa & Club Soda, Alma de Trabanco & Tonic, La Cigarrera, Manzanilla Sherry & Sprite; Contratto Apertif Spritz for $8; and Pick Any 3 Cocktails for $12. Live music is frequent, check the website under “Events.”

Cocktail Hour

Carnival Time

1½ ounces (45 ml) Avuá Prata cachaça
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh lime juice
½ ounce (15 ml) Ginger Syrup
½ ounce (15 ml) green Chartreuse
¼ ounce (7.5 ml) Simple Syrup
½ ounce (15 ml) Tempranillo, or another medium to full-bodied red wine, to top
Lime peel, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the Tempranillo and garnish in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. 

Double-strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, then slowly float the Tempranillo on top of the drink.

Garnish with the lime peel and serve.

Cocktail Hour

Destiny Pinson 

Doris Ione offers private and group floral design classes, as well as weekly/bi-weekly and monthly floral delivery subscriptions. Appointment only,

Destiny Pinson is the creative force behind Doris Ione, a New Orleans-based boutique floral and lifestyle studio. 

“We are in love with intimate weddings and events, floral workshops, all things vintage, and creating and capturing beautiful, moments,” Pinson said.

Tips for making floral arrangements:

  • Use your own containers, it already goes with your aesthetic and can really help an arrangement of flowers from the grocery store look extra special.
  • When it comes to buying flowers from your favorite grocery store, it’s a good idea to pick a few different bunches to create variety. To add a special touch to your arrangements, you can forage from your yard, any clippings of greenery or small blooms will work well. If you don’t have any plants to clip from, I suggest purchasing some that you can grow and have as a small cutting garden whether they are in pots or planted in your yard, both greenery and flowers.
  • Invest in a good pair of clippers, it makes all the difference in cutting the stems.
  • Cut stems at an angle to allow them to have more surface area to drink more water.
  • Use chicken wire as a grid by cutting a piece and wadding it up into a ball shape to fit inside your container. Make sure the wire ball you have made fits snugly into the vase. This will allow you to insert stems and have them stay where you want them.
  • If your vase is clear and you do not want the look of chicken wire, you can always make the bouquet in your hands and tie with a small clear hair band, which will not be very noticeable.
  • You can also tape the top of the vase with a grid of clear tape or use a floral frog at the bottom of the container.
  • When choosing your flowers, make sure to include some longer lasting varieties so you can keep the long-lasting flowers and just replace the more delicate blooms as needed, getting more life out of the arrangement.
  • Refresh the water and give the stems a fresh cut every couple of days.


Cocktail Hour

The Elysian Bar

The Elysian Bar (in Hotel Peter and Paul), 2317 Burgundy St., 504-356-6769,

Last year the Provence-inspired Elysian Bar snagged a coveted nod on Esquire Magazine’s influential list of “Best Bars in America.” Though the actual bar is a tiny, glorious space with very limited seating, it services all of the gathering places in the former Rectory at The Hotel Peter and Paul: two elegant parlors (cozily warmed by fireplaces in winter), a glass atrium brimming with lush foliage, and a lavish outdoor courtyard ringed by the former church’s bell towers. The bar takes its name not just from the boulevard cleaving the Marigny neighborhood and the Marigny Triangle: in classical mythology, the Elysian Fields were paradise—the blissful destination of the righteous after death. It is a fitting moniker for a bar housed in a former Catholic Church.

The cocktail menu visits the classics (Roffignac, Pimm’s Royale, The Grasshopper) as well as craft creations with a particular focus on heat-busting spritzes and other European-style, low ABV sips. Try Fletcher’s Paradise, a heady Madeira-and-Cognac punch with pineapple and cardamom. The bar welcomes Fridays with Aperitivo Hour from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with $5 Aperol and Campari spritzes. A menu with French influence is served daily for brunch and dinner.

Cocktail Hour

Martine Chaisson

Martine Chaisson Gallery,

Martine Chaisson opened her eponymous gallery in the Warehouse District over twelve years ago. The Martine Chaisson Gallery represents emerging and established artists, providing a variety of original contemporary art including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. In addition to working with private clients, Chaisson provides art advisory services for corporate clients throughout the South. Her collaboration with artist and friend Adrien Broom has blossomed into an annual fall photoshoot that combines artistic sets with classic portraiture in the Gallery’s 1852 ballroom space.

She is accustomed to entertaining in grand style but keeps things intimate when entertaining at home.

“For dinner parties I like to keep the guest count to 8 or less, including my husband and myself. I like to place a mini bar near where we are dining. I usually use an antique game table. This keeps people from hovering in the kitchen while I’m running around trying to finish dinner. The bar has a small ice bucket with a white wine and next to it a decanted red. My husband makes the best martinis so that is our usual offer to start the night. I’ll have the shaker chilling in the ice bucket with the white wine and next to it have cocktail onions, olives, and lemon rinds pre-cut. If those options are not to our guests’ liking, we usually just pop back in the kitchen and make them their drink of choice.”


Cocktail Hour

The Sazerac Bar

130 Roosevelt Way (in the Roosevelt Hotel), 504-648-1200,

The original Sazerac Bar opened early in the days after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. To step in is to venture back to the glamour of the Art Deco period when Seymour Weiss had it built in 1938. Named for the classic, potent pre-Civil War cocktail that is synonymous with New Orleans, the space is adorned by a stunning collection of impeccably restored murals by Paul Niñas, (each depicting a different area of the city in that era) flanking an equally impeccable 50-foot African walnut bar and walls of the same wood, all fashioned from one tree. Deep gator-embossed leather armchairs and plush banquette seating make it difficult to leave. The Ascot Cup at the center of the bar was forged from 80 pounds of sterling silver in 1878 and purchased by Weiss in 1938 from Tiffany & Co. The sterling silver water cooler was given as the trophy for a steamboat race between the “Robert E. Lee” and the “Natchez” in 1884 during a cotton exposition in New Orleans and Weiss just had to have that, too.

The environment compels you to sit a little straighter and walk a bit taller, lest the spirit of Huey P. Long stroll in and catch you slouching in the spot where he enjoyed many a Ramos Gin Fizz. 

The classic cocktail menu features top-notch takes on the timeless — Sazerac, Gin Fizz, French 75, Vodka Rickey. A refreshing summer craft cocktail menu is currently on offer. 

Cocktail Hour

Gunshop Fizz

2 ounces (60 ml) Peychaud’s bitters
3 grapefruit peels
3 orange peels
2 strawberries, hulled
4 slices cucumber, including 1 for garnish
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 ounce (30 ml) Simple Syrup
Sanbitter, for topping

Combine the Peychaud’s, grapefruit peels, orange peels, strawberries, and 3 of the cucumber slices in the tin of a shaker and muddle. Allow to soak for 2 minutes, then add the lemon juice and simple syrup and shake until chilled.

Double-strain into a collins glass filled with ice, top with the Sanbitter, garnish with the remaining cucumber slice and serve.


Cocktail Hour
photo by Brittany Conerly

The Chloe

4125 St. Charles Ave., 504-541-5500,

With The Chloe, his first hotel project, Robert LeBlanc of LeBlanc+Smith has created a microcosm of Uptown New Orleans culture within an Uptown hotel, restaurant, bar and, of sorts, club. LeBlanc and designer Sara Ruffin Costello’s shared vision for the 1891 Victorian Thomas Sully mansion came to fruition in October 2020. The wrought iron gates, expansive brick patio and a front porch featuring original tiles from the 1860s are familiar to those who live in the neighborhood as is the heavy tropical foliage surrounding the pool, which is open to locals for a daily fee. The hotel offers an abundance of cultural programming—live music, DJ sets, discussions—to further compel locals to show up. 

Indoors and out LeBlanc and Costello’s vision merges the historic with the contemporary in a seamless fashion while wresting every bit of available space to fabricate nooks and intimate gathering places as one moves a serpentine path through the property, continuously imparting a thrilling feeling of discovery. Inside, moody hues and abundant natural light offset architectural details. By night, carefully chosen dim fixtures and lamps offer sensual illumination. Culinary and cocktail services are available in all communal spaces. The “restaurant” is anywhere you want it to be, and features Chef Todd Pulsinelli’s modern takes on familiar classics: a muffaletta egg roll, gumbo z’herbes agnolotti, and shrimp etouffee dumplings. Bar Director Autumn Weimer’s sophisticated craft cocktail menu is served from the poolside bar shaded by tropical palmettos as well as from an indoor jewel box lounge carved from a former library. It features an egret mural and is accessed from the lobby/salon. A disguised doorway in the lounge leads to a private dining room for intimate gatherings. The bar itself is mahogany, custom built by local woodworker Ron Lee.

Happy Hour daily 3:00-5:30 pm. If you dig Mezcal visit any Monday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. when a variety of smoky sippers are offered from the Pool Bar with 25% off all flights and discounts on highballs and frozen Mezcal drinks.