21st Amendment, New Orleans: Dedicated to Mixology

While just a stone sour's throw from the low rent daiquiri bars of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the 21st Amendment is dedicated to original mixology.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

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Anyone who visits the French Quarter of New Orleans, only to such down a cheap, pre-mixed daiquiri or a quart of Hurricane should be abducted, driven to the NOLA airpot and never allowed to return. 

The city that hosts Tails of the Cocktail is a mixology mecca — home to some of the best bartenders and drink designers in the world. While the clueless tourists and slumming locals opt for the sweet and cheap drinks of Bourbon Street, people who love and appreciate great cocktails look away from the noise and haste to gems like The 21st Amendment

The bat takes its name from the act of Congress that ended Prohibition, and the decor embraces the criminal underworld of New Orleans throughout the years.

Related: Dining like a New Orleans Local

A small, clean and warmly lit affair tucked inside the La Louisiane Hotel on Iberville Street, The 21st Amendment sits close enough to Bourbon Street to offer refuge to grownups looking to get away from drinks that are merely strong and sweet. The dedicated people who run the 21st, including a small crew of young bartenders, put together a menu that embraces and celebrates New Orleans mixology — while updating it with the room’s unique flare.

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I tried two of the bar’s premiere offerings — cocktails that also happen to be very New Orleans friendly. Mac’s Sazerac is the 21st’s spin on a French cocktail — a dry, light blend of DeCourtet Cognac, Honey Syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters and Lucid Absinthe. The Honey and Absinthe counterbalance each other perfectly, allowing the Cognac smooth out the edges. It’s a thoroughly adult cocktail.

The La Louisiane is unique to New Orleans – a local favorite that dates back centuries. The 21st team mixes theirs with a traditional lineup of Old Overholt Rye, Benedictine, Carpano Antica Vermouth and bitters. It’s a taste and experience every spirits-savvy visitor to New Orleans should savor.

The 21st Amendment is open to 11 pm most nights, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It’s also slowly becoming a stop off for local music artists, especially those playing the favorites of the era that gave the bar its name.