Believe it or not, but my very first trip to New Orleans took place, this summer. New Orleans is an amazing city, but the sights, the sounds, and the tastes can all leave you in need of a vacation within your vacation. Thankfully, when the Hand Grenades proved to be too much, and when the surplus of beignets left me in a partial food coma, I was able to escape to the Loews New Orleans.
Located in Downtown New Orleans, the Loews New Orleans is a short walk to Harrah’s Casino, the French Quarters, and a number of other popular destinations in the city. It’s also in an area that’s tucked away just enough for you to feel like you’re not smack dab in the middle of all the action.
Upon entering the Loews, you’re met with a spacious lobby, which leads directly into the Swizzle Stick Bar. Obviously, a boozy plus in my book. With its classic New Orleans feel, the Swizzle Stick Bar was a visual highlight of the hotel. The menu at the bar boasts both Classic Cocktails and Swizzle Stick Originals. I think it’s only right to sample at least one original cocktail when visiting a bar for the first time, so I opted for the Congo Square. What’s in this curious concoction, you ask? Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, Coco Lopez, Patron XO, Vida Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, fresh pineapple, lime, and Angostura Bitters. Yeah, it boasts quite the ingredients list.
Although the Congo Square is about as complex as they come, the ingredients come together to create a worthwhile sip. Funny enough, hours before sipping on the Congo Square, I visited the actual Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. And believe it or not, the Congo Square cocktail was strangely reminiscent of the Square itself.