March 9, 2010

The Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

by Kayoko

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Thankfully made it to the Sazerac Bar in the historic Roosevelt Hotel. We weren’t going to have enough time to go, but I managed to sneak in on my last day in town. The space is just so majestic and enchanting!

The hotel itself has quite a history. Opened in 1893 as “The Grunewald”, it was followed by an expansion and name change to “The Roosevelt”. Bought by the Fairmont in the 60s (another name change), then closed indefinitely due to Katrina in 2005. After a major redesign to bring it back to its original 30s vibe, it reopened in recent years as The Roosevelt, and is now a part of the Waldorf-Astoria empire.

Pardon me if I am wrong, but from my reading I am getting that the Sazerac Bar started elsewhere in New Orleans, and did not move into the Roosevelt until 1949.

The actual bar itself is original, made of African walnut. The dark wood walls, plush furniture and floor tiles definitely transports you back in time– such vaudeville grandeur!

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

DSCN6804.JPGHistoric Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Original murals by Paul Niman, painted in the 1930s. Stunning.

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Even the garnishes were sliced to perfection.

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

The Sazerac cocktail is popularly lauded as THE original cocktail (although Paystyle disputed this in his Happy Hour post), comprised of rye, bitters, absinthe, and a sugar cube.

But I have a confession to make. I did not have a Sazerac at the Sazerac Bar. SHAME ON ME. Again, my time in NOLA was running out, and I had just had a Sazerac for lunch, so I went with at Pimm’s Cup. Paystyle, forgive me.

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

I can’t quite figure out the relationship between the Sazerac Bar, and the Sazerac liquor company (are they related?) but there was a wall dedicated to the famous brown stuff. A bottle of this will make you real poor, real quick. Whenever I see this bottle at any bar, I get a drink with it.

Historic Sazerac Bar (NOLA)

Geekout Time: here’s the original bar menu. Super neat! No Sazerac, but the Ramon Gin Fizz seems to have been all the rage. Also make sure to watch the little video of the history of the bar on the website.

SAZERAC BAR
The Roosevelt Hotel
123 Baronne Street
New Orleans, LA
T: 504.648.1200

2 Comments

  • Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

    A Pimm’s Cup in the dead of winter huh, I see. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go to NOLA in July this year for Tales of the Cocktail and have a Sazerac, although ironically a Pimm’s Cup would be more appropriate then.

  • kayoko
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Yah, I know, I know. The last time I was in NOLA, it was in the HOTHOTSUMMERTIME, so we were downing Pimm’s Cups like water. So really, I wanted to drink at Pimm’s more for nostalgic reasons.

    I’ll say that the Sazerac Bar makes one bombass Pimm’s Cup, though! Ha.

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