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Hot in the City

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Hot in the City
Written by Michael Harold | Photos by Rush Jagoe

New Orleans’ Hot Tin Remixes The City’s Classic Cocktails into The Thirst-Quenchers You’re Craving Right Now

Jake LeBas.

It’s hard to imagine a city more associated with cocktails than New Orleans. In fact, most natives mistakenly believe that the cocktail was invented here simply based on the fact that this is where so many famous drinks were born and baptized.

Early on, New Orleans established itself as a place of celebration, which invariably included drinking. Madeira was the drink of choice back then—the city’s subtropical heat only served to enhance the flavor and richness of the fortified wine—and later, brandy. However, by the mid-nineteenth century cocktails were all the rage thanks to the dawn of commercial ice-making in the city. And when the 1920s rolled around, Prohibition did little to dampen that enthusiasm. While much of the country was parched for a drink, secret bars quenched the thirst of New Orleanians, thereby ensuring the cocktail’s survival.

While mixed drinks have never fallen out of fashion in New Orleans, the cocktail revival of late has only enhanced them. Embracing this trend as well as a growing appetite for rooftop bars, the historic Pontchartrain Hotel converted its penthouse into one of the most fashionable bars in the city—Hot Tin, named in a nod to playwright Tennessee Williams, who lived at the hotel while he wrote A Streetcar Named Desire. Its prepossessing bartender, Jake LeBas, has customers lining up nightly to sample his creative riffs on traditional New Orleans cocktails. He concocted a few for TLP in honor of the thirstiest month of them all.

The Humidity

Brandy Milk Fizz

Sloe Ride 

The Rainmaker

Rises in the East