New Orleans’ Top 100+ Bars: Farm to glass
These hyper-local bars make use of on-premises gardens, or work closely with their chef and local markets.
General manager Steve Deisinger borrows from chef/owner Jason Goodenough’s kitchen to spin seasonal ingredients into his smart, spirit-forward cocktails. These include a bitter, citrusy tonic syrup, as well as syrups made from lavender, strawberries, pomegranate and ginger, which brightens the bourbon-and-bitters Better Than Ever. 8132 Hampson St., (504) 252-9928; www.carrolltonmarket.com, @CarrolltonMkt
Dominique’s on Magazine
Chef Dominique Macquet’s vertical gardens, just off the courtyard, yield herbs and produce for his sunny, tropical dishes and for head bartender Ian Julian’s fresh concoctions: cilantro and habanero pepper in a Cajun Pho Sour, rosemary and lavender for white sangria, kaffir limes that juice up a gin sour. Further stretching the drinks’ garden-fresh appeal are locally preserved syrups and jams. 4213 Magazine St., (504) 891-9282; www.dominiquesonmag.com, @DOM4213
Long-time produce supplier Jim Bremer helms the kitchen at this stylish Bywater eatery, and his garden helps feed it. On the bar side, Franklin Buist and his staff make use of Bremer’s fresh herbs and citrus, and go more deeply seasonal in their off-menu cocktail specials, such as a recent tequila cooler based on a house-made split pea shrub. 2600 Dauphine St., (504) 267-0640; www.facebook.com/TheFranklinRestaurant
High Hat Cafe
Restaurant manager and barman Ryan Iriarte stretches the seasons as much as honors them, by way of his house-made shrubs, liqueurs and sodas. That means spring’s tart mayhaw berries figure into summer’s honeyed vodka martini, joined on the menu by Creole tomato shrub and cucumber liqueur. Chef Jeremy Wolgamott, local farms and Iriarte’s own garden supply the fresh produce. 4500 Freret St., (504) 754-1336; www.highhatcafe.com, @highhatcafe
Without a kitchen on site (for the moment), spirit handler and forager Alan Walter personally gathers the clover, Spanish moss and nasturtium flowers that go into his complex, lovely concoctions. Walter’s latest features baby bamboo shoots he found in his beekeeper’s yard; his julep is grounded by bamboo tea, sweetened with that honey and served with a side of honeycomb. International House Hotel, 221 Camp St., (504) 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com/bar.html, @LoaNewOrleans
The bar staff, led by Tony DiMunno, has been known to forage their own fruits — recently, local mulberries — though usually it’s chef Michael Doyle who provides them with fresh produce or the base of a new cocktail. Take his Barq’s red cream soda vinegar, which the bar infused with strawberries. That fruity shrub will appear on the menu, paired with plum brandy and elderflower liqueur. 3200 Burgundy St., (504) 267-0072; www.maurepasfoods.com, @MaurepasFoods
Bar manager Max Messier’s molecular mixology relies on the seasons, and whatever chef Phillip Lopez sources from his garden. Lately, that includes young peas, blueberries, roasted bell peppers, aji limon chile peppers and chardonnay grapes, proprietary to Lopez. Downstairs, Messier’s exuberant cocktails match Lopez’s tasting courses; the upstairs lounge features Messier’s ever-changing drinks list, charcuterie plates and a city skyline view. Square Root, 1800 Magazine St., (504) 309-7800; www.squarerootnola.com, @SquareRootNola.
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