12 New Orleans Watering Holes
By Andrew Belonsky
7. Bar Uncommon: More upscale and modern than many of the places listed so far, Uncommon (pictured above) takes its cocktails seriously. The gin-n-blue ? gin, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, fresh blueberry garnish ? and the ginger press ?whisky, mint syrup, ginger beer, mint sprig ? are among the most popular bevvies at this spot in the business district's Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.
8. Lounge: Another hot spot where the emphasis is on amiability, Friendly Lounge in Faubourg Marigny is just a great for pre-dancing drinks as it is for late-night shenanigans. There's absolutely no judgement here: just good music, good people and very friendly bartenders known to treat patrons to free peanut butter and jelly flavored shots.
9. Daddy's: Right across the street from Mimi's, you'll find laid back dive bar Big Daddy's. An eclectic mix of people, all of whom happen to be very nice, Big Daddy's is a go-to and, as a bonus, is frequently far less crowded than many of the other bars in town, which means you won't have to wait very long to be served by the attractive, eager-to-please bar staff.
10. Phoenix/Eagle: What does one do at a 24-hour gay bar? If you need to ask, check out this leather and Levi's joint on Elsyian Fields Avenue in Marigny and find out for yourself.
11. John: If you didn't get your fill on impeccable Bloody Mary's at Cafe LaFitte, try swishing one out of a mason jar at The John, and then test your motor skills with some pools tables. Located in the Marigny, this dark, somewhat divey nightspot is truly a neighborhood bar but acts as if each and every visitor lives next door.
12. Old Absinthe House: Known far and wide for its signature cocktail, the Absinthe House Frappe, a blend of herbsaint, anisette and soda water and invented in the 1860s, The Old Absinthe House has since expanded its menu but keeps its eye on the past as it serves up some of the city's most inventive and refreshing cocktails. The Planter's Punch ? rum, orange juice and sour mix ? is perfect for a hot summer's night, while the Brandy Milk Punch ? brandy, vanilla syrup and milk ? keeps you warm in the milder winter months. One word of warning: this place is swamped on Friday nights. If you can't make it there, though, their website includes plenty of recipes for you to use at your next Mardi Gras party.