Museum of the American Cocktail


Whether you are an alcohol drinker or not, the image of the cocktail holds a certain fascination for many people. The idea of sipping a cocktail at some dark, loungey bar or in the comforts of your own 1950s, atomic age living room, we all cannot help but be tempted.

… even if you just like the cool glass shapes, there is still something to enjoy for everyone.

Whatever your poison may be, there will be something to look at when you visit the MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN COCKTAIL- Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA.


Located a mere 10 minute drive from the ever-populated (a little TOO populated, in my opinion) French Quarter, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum has plenty of interesting displays in its own right, of course. For me, though, the highlight is the Museum of the American Cocktail, which opened in 2008.


The main part of the museum starts with a brief history of alcohol starting 9,000 years ago in Egypt and then moves on to its displays spanning from the 1700s until around 1970, when the “cocktail” craze started to decline.

Fun fact: the word “cocktail” was first coined by a New Hampshire newspaper in 1803; where they came up with it is a little unclear.
The unofficially named “Suffering Bastard” mug on your left, named such because of his hangdog expression.
A 1939 prediction of “The Taverns of Tomorrow” (meaning 1996). Some predictions are spot on, some not so much…

They also feature a Prohibition shrine.

Fun fact: Prohibition started three years earlier in Washington D.C. than it did for the rest of the country. The main bootlegger for the House of Reps and Senate wrote articles in the newspaper about his bootlegging exploits, helping turn people against Prohibition.

The museum is also know for its exhibit “La Galerie d’Absinthe,” a one of a kind exhibit of absinthe bottles, implements, and decor.



On the opposite end of the museum, there is a bar from a local restaurant that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The bar was rescued and sent to the museum… in over 170 pieces! They put it back together and it is now used in a side area reserved for events.


Go consider the cocktail, then head over to the French Quarter and order one; see if the 22-year-old bartender knows how to make it.

Until next time, dahlings…

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