Today (7.19) is National Daiquiri Day! Whether you prefer more upscale versions or you are more partial to the Queen Latifah-approved drive-through variety, the daiquiri is arguably one of the signature drinks of New Orleans. The standard recipe includes rum, sugar, and lime, but these days pretty much any variation boozy and slushy makes the cut. Celebrate this most hallowed of days with NoDef's round-up of the best spots in the Big Easy (er, Big Freezy) for this cool beverage.
Gene's Curbside Daiquiris (1072 Elysian Fields Ave.)
Step into this Pepto pink establishment for some of the finest daiquiris in town. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are fans of the 24-hour shop, which boasts a menu with names like "One Night Stand," "Booty Call" and "Vickie's Secret." Their most famous (and potent) flavor is aptly dubbed "What the F–K!" Stop by their neighboring food outpost Gene's Po-Boys to line your stomach with a variety of deep-fried goodness to help ward off that daiquiri-induced hangover.
Willa Jean (611 O'Keefe Ave.)
Chef John Besh's CBD spot is known for their killer brunch, but they're also serving up some of the finest daiqs in the game. The Pimm's Cup (cucumber juice, Pimm's, Gingeroo, lemon) and Drunk in Love (watermelon, Cathead honeysuckle vodka, lime) are both stand-outs, but the Frosé Y'all (yeah, that's right: frozen rosé) is the absolute perfect summer drink.
Big Easy Daiquiris (409 Decatur St.)
This local chain has several spots along Decatur and Bourbon, but this outpost further up Decatur is fairly safe from the tourist traffic. Drop in for a selection of daiquiri flavors that go far beyond the standard Hurricane fare, like the Appletini, White Russian, or 190 Antifreeze flavors. Big Easy also offers beer, cocktails, and pizza.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar (941 Bourbon St.)
If you want to a shot of drunk history, visit the oldest structure used as a bar in the country. Jean Lafitte's early 18th century shop is home to one of the most powerful "purple dranks" in the country — the VooDoo daiquiri is made with Everclear and grape juice, and served in a Styrofoam cup for folks on the go.
Compère Lapin (535 Tchoupitoulas St.)
For an elevated take on the daiquiri, drop by this James Beard celebrated dining establishment in the Warehouse District. Two frozen offerings, the Cajun Coquito (rum, coconut, allspice, condensed milk) and Café du Horchata (rum, rice, cinnamon, coffee, almond, pecan), can be combined into one mega-blend dubbed the Dude Abides.
Jazz Daiquiri (3400 S. Claiborne Ave.)
Beware: this spot is not for the faint of heart. Jazz Daiquiri has gained a reputation for serving some of the strongest daiqs in town. With prices low (a large cup run 6 bucks) and booze portions high, Jazz is also one of the cost-efficient. Rep your Louisiana pride with the Tulane Green Wave or LSU Tiger blends.
Cane & Table (1113 Decatur St.)
This neo-Tiki watering hole adds a dash of kitsch elegance to the lower Decatur drag. C&T's former cocktail guru Nick Detrich once meditated on the power of the frozen drink for NoDef, so it's safe to say the team knows their way around a daiquiri or two.
Did we miss one of your favorite daiquiri spots? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.