@aceneworleans Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet St., (504) 900-1180; www.acehotel.com/neworleans
The vibe: Lounge chairs line the rooftop terrace and pool of the downtown boutique hotel. What you'll drink: Light wines and summer cocktails, such as El Camino Real, a blend of tequila, grapefruit, lime and ginger.
4525 Freret St., (504) 371-5043; www.barfrances.com
The vibe: The chic contemporary wine bar and bistro has a sleek, modern look inside and shaded seating on the sidewalk. What you'll drink: Natural and organic wines highlight the list, and a few are on tap. Carafe cocktails provide a low-alcohol refresher, such as the Rebujito, made with manzanilla sherry, soda water, simple syrup and lemon.
Bayou Wine Garden
@bayouwinegarden 315 N. Rendon St., (504) 826-2925; bayouwinegarden.com
The vibe: The spacious outdoor patio adjoins the Bayou Beer Garden, providing a lively outdoor scene. There's an outdoor bar, shaded patio seating, an indoor bar and an impressive selection of house-cured charcuterie. What you'll drink: Wines on tap are the main draw here and include a mostly domestic selection. The bottle list is more eclectic and international. Try the slightly effervescent N2 Albarino blend or the chilled Cochon Old Vine Rose.
@thehenricafe 800 Louisa St., (504) 302-2357; www.henri.cafe
The vibe: The casual and airy Bywater bistro from the team behind Cure and Cane & Table is as good a place as any to enjoy classic cocktails and a streamlined menu of new American fare. What you'll drink: No originals here: The short cocktail list features time-honored classics, including the Tom Collins, Moscow mule and rum and Coke.
@cavannola 3607 Magazine St., (504) 509-7655; www.cavannola.com
The vibe: The upstairs bar inside a former 19th-century Garden District home provides a more casual ambience than the downstairs dining rooms, but chandeliers, antiques and gilded touches give it a classy vibe. What you'll drink: New Orleans classics including Sazeracs or original drinks like Lucille's Reviver, featuring silver tequila, Cocchi Americano, lemon and Herbsaint.
@chaisdelachaise 7708 Maple St., (504) 510-4509; www.chaisdelachaise.com
The vibe: The Maple Street offshoot of the St. Charles Avenue wine bistro features a seafood-forward, globally inspired small plates menu, a wide selection of wine and casual indoor-outdoor seating. What you'll drink: Wine by the glass and craft cocktails.
Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Ave., (800) 708-6652; www.thepontchartrainhotel.com
The vibe: The just reopened hotel's rooftop bar offers stunning views of the New Orleans skyline. What you'll drink: Craft cocktails and Champagne.
1117 Montegut St.
The vibe: This charming, off-the-beaten-path 9th Ward wine bar occupies a former tire shop and there is a spacious covered patio decorated with pendant lights. The abbreviated menu features imported canned seafood, French bistro fare and Japanese accents. What you'll drink: A short sake and shochu selection provides a nice primer on the Japanese spirits, and there is a quaint list of European aperitifs and wines by the glass.
Catahoula Hotel, 914 Union St., (504) 603-2442; www.catahoulahotel.com
The vibe: Peruvian- inspired drinks and small plates anchor the menu at the swanky cocktail bar and lounge inside the Catahoula Hotel. There's a contemporary Latin American feel, emphasized by cocktails made with pisco, a Peruvian brandy. What you'll drink: Pisco sours and lesser-known concoctions, such as the refreshing Chilcano, made with ginger beer.
@palacecafe 605 Canal St., (504) 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com
The vibe: On the second floor of the contemporary Creole restaurant, the swanky, rum-centric Black Duck bar features an expansive lounge, a wraparound bar and a kitchen serving small plates and charcuterie. What you'll drink: There are more than 120 rums used in classic and original cocktails. The Carpe Noctum features Zaya 12-year rum, cane syrup, a Pernod rinse and Bittermens Tiki Bitters.
Pirogue's Whiskey Bayou
6940 St. Claude Ave., (504) 676-3357
The vibe: Longtime bartenders from Markey's Bar and BJ's opened the Arabi watering hole this spring, drawing some longtime Bywater regulars to the casual spot. What you'll drink: Boilermakers — Jameson shots and beer — are the bartenders' choice here. The no-fuss bar also features a selection of local draft beers, sangria specials and killer bloody marys.
Revel Cafe & Bar
133 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-6122; www.facebook.com/revelcafeandbar
The vibe: Veteran mixologist Chris McMillian's brightly lit Mid-City bar offers a long list of classic cocktails and gin creations, and the kitchen serves a casual menu of small plates and sandwiches. What you'll drink: Original creations such as the Jean Deaux, featuring Plymouth gin, crystalized ginger, lemon juice, orange bitters and a splash of cranberry juice.
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