|Yuri, myself, Ray and Russell |
Ramos Gin Fizzes at the Sazerac Bar, New Orleans
The Sazerac's title as first ever cocktail may be in dispute, but it is my favorite classic cocktail, and there are few places better to enjoy it than the historic bar that bears its name in the city of its invention. But the drink that encouraged Huey Long to hold court in the Roosevelt Hotel bar -- to the point where the bar was known as "Huey's Office" and is said to have been the reason for the construction of the Airline Highway from Baton Rouge -- is the Ramos Gin Fizz. Thus our party started with the latter classic.
|Sazerac Bar, New Orleans|
Meanwhile, the Roosevelt Hotel had quite a history of its own. The first part of building opened in 1893 as the Hotel Grunewald, which featured a basement lounge called "The Cave," considered one of the first nightclubs in America. The Cave was elaborately decorated with stalactites, stalagnites, pools, fountains and nymphs, and remained in operation hosting late night carousing, dancing, and Dixieland musics until 1935. In that year the hotel was purchased by a group headed by the aforementioned "enterprising businessman." This was Seymour Weiss, the former owner of a barber shop in the hotel, who would grow into becoming not only the owner and general manager but a valued confidante of Huey P. Long. Weiss converted The Cave to the Blue Room, which would host the likes of Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, and Tommy Dorsey. In 1938 they added the Main Bar, later to become The Sazerac:
|Sazerac Bar, New Orleans, LA|
|The Cave, Grunewald Hotel (wikimedia)|
The Sazerac definitely belongs on your shortlist of bars to visit in New Orleans.
Est. 1949 - Building constructed: 1893
Previous bars in this location: The Main Bar
Web site: therooseveltneworleans.com
Reviews: 12bottlebar - eater - youtube - nola.com - nola.com - atlasobscura - edibleneworleans - neworleans.com - yelp