New Orleans is a party town known for its energetic nightlife on famous avenues like Bourbon Street, with endless choices for bar hopping. But sometimes, the secret to a good drink is a secret location.
In this episode of Walk With T+L, cocktail influencer Deniseea Taylor takes viewers on a tour of New Orleans, or as she calls it, “the cocktail capitol.” Taylor shows off her favorite local bars — specifically speakeasies — including location, how to get invited in, and what to order once inside.
Modern speakeasies, she says, try to capture what the atmosphere was like during Prohibition, when alcoholic beverages were banned in the United States in the 1920s. Revelers had to drink in secret, and these hidden bars had unmarked doors and even passwords for patrons to gain entry.
The first stop on Taylor’s tour is Double Dealer, located underneath the famous Orpheum Theater, which was built in 1918. Taylor walks down a backstage hallway and through a false door before arriving in the lush, low-lit bar with neon signs and curtains invoking the theater’s rich history.
Double Dealer manager Joe Diaz explains the bar is located in what used to be the theater’s “air conditioning” room, where they would store the ice blocks that kept the building cool. He mixes up a drink using mezcal and Aperol, named the Blind Viking, and the bar’s most popular cocktail with gin, cucumber and jalapeño syrup, called the Ultimately.
Related: New Orleans Travel Guide
Before heading to the second bar, Taylor walks through the French Quarter, where viewers learn the famed Bourbon Street is home to more than just bars and food; the historic buildings, Taylor says, feature some of the most interesting architecture in the city.
Arriving in the Lower Garden District, Taylor enters The Saint Bar & Lounge, a spot with a hometown bar feel. Taking shots from plastic cups, she chats with a local about how the bar often doesn’t feel overly crowded but still has an energetic atmosphere.
Finally, Taylor arrives at Good Trouble Lounge, but fair warning — this private spot is truly a modern speakeasy. Taylor, a.k.a. @chickenandchampagne, lets viewers know they will need to private message the lounge on Instagram for any hope of being let in on this secret.
Once inside, Taylor steps in to show viewers how to make a classic New Orleans cocktail, the daiquiri. She says while most people think of this as a frozen, blended drink, here, it’s served straight up. Coconut simple syrup adds a bit of jazz, and Taylor ends the tour with these departing words of advice: drink responsibly and always tip your bartender.
You can book your tour and travel to New Orleans today.