We are currently experiencing a bitter taste of COVID-Blues. Typically, in the heat of the summer, we are craving a good gathering with wonderful cocktails at some of our favorite places. My, how times have changed. COVID-19 has no doubt changed the way we drink. Last call came again, sooner than we imagined. So, this edition of DrinkUpNola is going to offer you some great drink selections at some of the few places that are open and still offering food and cocktails to quench our summer thirst.

Hot Tin (2031 St. Charles Ave.) Located in the penthouse of the Pontchartrain Hotel, Hot Tin is offering the Skyliner cocktail. It’s made with honeysuckle vodka, aperitif, lime, grapefruit and habanero bitters. There is a lot of flavor packed in there and is worth the visit. The Jack Rose restaurant in the hotel is offering succulent cocktails, too. We suggest the Ruby Slipper, which is made with vodka, grapefruit, lemon and a splash of sparkling. COVID Update: Jack Rose restaurant in the hotel is expanding service to the rooftop while bars are temporarily closed due to the pandemic. You are asked to call ahead to make sure there is availability.

Cooter Browns (509 S. Carrollton Ave.) This laid back sports bar traditionally has 400 beers, but during the pandemic the happy hour has changed a bit. There are still cocktail and drink selections, but what’s special now is the team is offering $3 rum punch and $7 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sound good? Stop in and be seated inside or outside. The bar manager told us to be sure and bring your mask.

Sylvain (625 Chartres St.) Right now dine in service is available at Sylvain. There is no traditional happy hour per se, but there is a fun array of rotating frozen drinks available. Right now the team is offering the frozen Hurricane and a Louisiana Watermelon Margarita. Here’s the catch, the flavors change daily. They are considering a frozen Mai Tai next, but it’s all at the flavorful whim of the stars behind the bar. This is a fun way to beat the heat and enjoy some great cocktails.

It’s unclear how long the current restrictions on bars will last, so if you find a place offering great drinks, with a fabulous patio a plus, let us know. We’d love to share it with cocktail lovers everywhere. Cheers!!