Welcome to a tongue-in-cheek, but sometimes super serious column documenting adventures with spirits and cocktails when out and about or from the comfort of my own home. Let's discover new things together!
I recently returned from a trip to New Orleans (which is why, as I'm writing this, I'm currently on a juice cleanse. You're welcome, liver). It had been a while since I was able to experience the city and I fully indulged in some amazing food, craft cocktails, live music and a lot of random entertainment on Bourbon Street and in the French Quarter.
Are you into these things? If so, I highly recommend a visit to the Big Easy. (New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival runs April 22 to May 1.)
One thing I noticed is the city boasts a lack of urgency. My one-hour tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, featuring alleged voodoo queen Marie Laveau and actor Nicolas Cage's future tomb, lasted almost two hours because the tour guide had so much to say. Likewise, the packed restaurants and bars never rushed me and were pretty leisurely in bringing me my next round even though there were tons of people waiting to get in. It wasn't a problem though because, first, the drinks in New Orleans are massive and second, you can take them to-go in plastic cups.
One of the most popular New Orleans cocktails is the hurricane. There are different varieties, but essentially, it's made with rum, fruit juice and grenadine -- it's basically party punch in a travel cup.
Here are the three best to-go hurricane spots I tried on my trip:
The shop has 12 flavors and I stopped by to enjoy a frozen hurricane daiquiri while I waited to tour the St. Louis Cathedral. Yes, it was 10 a.m. and no, I didn't burst into flames when entering the cathedral afterward.
Located at 409 Decatur St., though there are several locations.
Order Neptune's Monsoon. I'm not sure if this is actually a hurricane, but it's hurricane-ish and so delicious. I ordered it while waiting to pick up a to-go order because every time we went to this place the line was out the door and hours long. I'm told (vegetarian, remember?) that the burgers are amazing and I drunkenly enjoyed a massive baked potato in the park across the street.
Located at 838 Esplanade Ave.
This is Channing Tatum’s bar and, truthfully, I wasn’t expecting great drinks, but I was pleasantly surprised! It has a gorgeous interior and since I stopped by during the day, it wasn’t that crowded and they even gave me a tour. I took my hurricane to go and enjoyed it on the way to the airport.
Located at 627 Bourbon St.
Need a hurricane-sponge? Hit Cafe Du Monde.
This renown cafe doesn't serve anything alcoholic, but it is where I ended up after drinking the ginormous Neptune's Monsoon from Port of Call. Fortunately, my friends were already in line and they saved me a spot (I know, I'm the worst). The beignets are awesome both sober and otherwise.
Located at 800 Decatur St., though there are several locations.
Booze News Insider Rachel Hart believes in the importance of expanding one's happy hour and nightcap repertoire beyond a glass of wine (although, she'll happily take one). She loves to discover creative quality spirits and cocktails and hopes you'll go on the journey with her.