The New Orleans Cocktail Bucket List

By Scott Gold | Thrillist

Other cities might have quaint, anachronistic, bespoke cocktail dens, with their dark woods and candlelight, exposed brick, and mixologists in arm garters and handlebar mustaches. But in New Orleans, that’s not ironic or whimsical... it’s our history. NOLA barmen and barwomen have been slinging drinks since the mid-19th century, and you can still get many of those same drinks, at the same bars no less, to this very day -- and at the same time, a new breed of Big Easy bartenders are creating exciting craft cocktails, as well as paying homage to those classics.

Tying it all together, we decided to track down the essentials. The must-drinks. The mixed's you can't leave town without trying. So if you want to hit some serious highlights of the NOLA cocktail scene before you buy the farm, these are the places and tipples to put on your bucket list. [...]

The Empire Bar at Broussard’s, French Quarter

What you're drinking: The Ramos Gin Fizz
Even in a city filled with notable mixologists (see above) bartender Paul Gustings stands alone. Mostly because of his reputation as a curmudgeon, but also because he makes some of the best drinks in the city, if not the world. A proper Ramos Fizz (invented in NOLA by Henry Ramos in the 1880s), that incomparable mix of gin, raw egg white, orange-flower water, sugar, cream, and citrus, needs proper attention and long bouts of shaking to achieve perfection, and you know you’ll find it at Gustings’ hands. If you’ve never had one, it’s basically cake in a glass. With gin.

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