Attention: a real daiquiri has very little to do with the drive-in slushies you'll see in New Orleans. This classic drink is a serious cocktail, made tart with lots of fresh lime.
The original Sazerac—made before phylloxera in Europe devastated wine and brandy production—would have been made with cognac, but after 1870, you'd be much more likely to see rye in this boozy drink, served in a glass coated with absinthe.
A tall-and-simple Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House is a New Orleans tradition, but you can get fancy with your homemade version, throwing in whatever garnishes you want. (Unfortunately strawberries aren't quite in season yet.)
Boozy but super smooth, this rye-and-cognac based cocktail is sweetened with Benedictine and stirred with bitters.
Pomme en Croute
An autumnal variation on the classic Brandy Crusta, invented by Chris Hannah of Arnaud's French 75 in New Orleans. Applejack, Campari, fresh orange, and lemon make for a bright and fruity—but not too sweet—drink. Rim the glass with sugar; it's part of the fun.
This was the signature cocktail at Arnaud's restaurant in New Orleans during the 1940s and '50s. This southern cousin of the Rob Roy is smoky and rich, with Dubonnet Rouge substituted for sweet vermouth, and with orange bitters providing a fragrant citrus note.
Brandy milk punch is a bit like a no-egg eggnog, but it's refreshing when poured over a mountain of crushed ice. Warning: this is a pretty potent way to kick off brunch. Feel free to adjust the sugar to your taste.
High End Grasshopper
Legend has it that the Grasshopper was created in New Orleans at Tujague's. Make yours at home with fresh DIY Creme de Menthe made with real mint. For the cocktail, just shake your mint infusion with ice and equal parts creme de cacao and cream for a sippable dessert.
An easy cocktail worth remembering: it's tart, herbal, refreshing, and effervescent. Don't feel like you have to use real Champagne, but do go with something drinkable.
Editor's tip: we also love a Meyer Lemon French 75; if you're using Meyer lemon juice, cut the sugar down by half.
The hints of vanilla flavor in good aged rum are backed up with Averna and accented by an intense clove aroma from Velvet Falernum in this cocktail invented by Chris Hannah from Arnaud's French 75 Bar in New Orleans.