Arnaud's / French 75
813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433; www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/bars/french-75
The vibe: Chris Hannah leads a team of white-coated bartenders in the swank, dimly-lit lounge adjoining the historic Arnaud's Restaurant.
What you'll drink: First-timers can't pass up a French 75, the namesake cocktail, but try the refreshing Queen's Park Swizzle.
820 N. Rampart St., (504) 324-6045; www.bartonique.com
The vibe: A U-shaped bar fills much of the space in this cozy cocktail lounge, and colorful signs list beers, premium spirits and classic cocktails (gimlet, corpse reviver, caipirinha). Patrons can page through an extensive cocktail menu, and many drinks feature house-made tinctures.
What you'll drink: Try the daily cocktail special.
Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
321 N. Peters St., (504) 609-3811
The vibe: The French Quarter oasis specializes in "lost" exotic drinks from Tiki's heyday, recovered thanks to extensive research by proprietor and drinks authority Jeff "Beachbum" Berry.
What you'll drink: Try classic Tiki cocktails such as a zombie or navy grog, or grab some pals and share a communal drink like the Snake versus Mongoose (recommended for four people).
Broussard's / Empire Bar
819 Conti St., (504) 581-3866; www.broussards.com
The vibe: Grab a seat at the long marble-top bar of this fine-dining establishment. Longtime bartender Paul Gustings has departed (to Tujague's) but the drinks menu still features punches and classic drinks.
What you'll drink: An English milk punch or a traditional New Orleans cocktail.
Cafe Adelaide & The Swizzle Stick Bar
300 Poydras St., (504) 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com
The vibe: The Swizzle Stick Bar at Cafe Adelaide, named after one of the matriarchs of the Brennan dynasty, is housed in the Loews Hotel. A giant block of ice is a focal point behind the bar and reminds patrons that the bar prides itself on a traditional approach to fine drinks.
What you'll drink: The Adelaide Swizzle (spoiler alert: the "secret ingredient" is falernum syrup).
Cane & Table
1113 Decatur St., (504) 581-1112; www.caneandtablenola.com
The vibe: The team behind Uptown craft cocktail pioneer Cure opened this (modestly) Caribbean-themed proto-Tiki drink enclave. There's a map-sized menu of cocktails, and guests can enjoy them at the bar or in the back courtyard.
What you'll drink: Order the Boss Colada (made with Baska Snaps, pineapple and lime) and see where the night takes you.
Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas St. (504) 599-2110; www.comperelapin.com
The vibe: The apron-clad staff behind the bar at Top Chef veteran Nina Compton's Caribbean-inspired restaurant look like models, complete with great hair and intense stares. But forget the looks, and focus on the drinks designed by award-winning mixologist Abigail Gullo.
What you'll drink: Anything frozen, such as a Cajun Coquito.
4905 Freret St., (504) 302-2357; www.curenola.com
The vibe: A generation of New Orleanians discovered cocktails are cool at this stylish lounge, situated in a renovated firehouse (there also is patio seating).
What you'll drink: The menu lists each signature drink's creator. Sip on Nicholas Jarrett's White Snake, a chilled riff on the classic stinger.
International House Hotel, 221 Camp St., (504) 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com/loa
The vibe: Mixologist Alan Walter presides over an elegant bar and lush lounge in the lobby of the International House Hotel. Some drinks are served with elaborate accoutrement or a story.
What you'll drink: Wet your whistle with a Delilah, named after one of the Bible's more seductive figures.
2347 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 831-8637; www.face- book.com/martineslounge
The vibe: The still smoke-friendly Old Metairie cocktail lounge is a former dive bar, and patrons can play darts and other games.
What you'll drink: Fan favorites include a Dagger Old Fashioned or Voodoo Glitter, and there's a menu of stuffed olives.
Palace Café / Black Duck Bar
605 Canal St., (504) 523-1611; www.palacecafe.com
The vibe: The headquarters of the New Orleans Rum Society, the Black Duck Bar occupies the entire second floor of Palace Cafe. There are more than 100 rums, a rum cocktail list and a bar menu.
What you'll drink: Rum drinks, of course, but Palace Cafe also serves a Mai Tai and a Nash Roberts (the house hurricane).
W New Orleans French Quarter, 310 Chartres St., (504) 552-4095; www.sobounola.com
The vibe: While many Brennan family restaurants focus on traditional New Orleans food and drink, SoBou is a more modern affair. Patrons can sip draft brews in the beer garden or take a seat in the sleek bar space and explore the menu of original cocktails and twists on classics (A Sidecar Named Desire).
What you'll drink: On a Sunday, marvel at burlesque performer Bella Blue while sipping on a Lady Ella, named after restaurateur Ella Brennan.
Twelve Mile Limit
500 S. Telemachus St., (504) 488-8114; www.facebook.com/twelve.mile.limit
The vibe: "Cocktail-dive" is the term for this neighborhood spot founded by T. Cole Newton, a pioneer of the local craft cocktail scene. The very casual bar hosts the Heatwave dance party, trivia games and politically active and sex-positive discussion forums.
What you'll drink: If it's your first visit, go for The Baudin (bourbon, honey, lemon). Brunch features $1 martinis.
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