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10 Signs You Grew Up Drinking in Louisiana

Travel Louisiana, United States
Photo: travelview/Shutterstock
Hank Mendheim
Mar 24, 2015

1. Flashing your naughty bits in a bar is a completely normal thing to do for a free round.

This is probably one of those “Only in New Orleans” things. And while flashing the goods God gave you is not legal, it is tolerated and sometimes expected in the bars along Bourbon Street. The good news is you may get a free drink, some plastic beads, and one heck of a story to take home.

2. You drive around looking for a drive-thru daiquiri shop.

Only in Louisiana can you drive up to your favorite daiquiri shop, place your order, and drive off with the frozen alcoholic beverage of your choice. Keep the lid on though because Louisiana law states that as long as a straw does not penetrate the cup, your container is not considered “open.”

3. You ask the bartender for a “go cup.”

This only applies in New Orleans. At any bar, you can ask for a “go cup,” pour your alcoholic beverage in it, and “go” out onto the streets of the Big Easy. You don’t even have to ask in some bars. The plastic “go cups” are stacked up. Help yourself.

4. You order Abita.

Across the US people are learning what Louisianians always knew: Abita beer rocks. The fine brews with such names as Purple Haze, Turbodog, Seersucker Summer Pils, and Strawgator, are made in Abita Springs, Louisiana, about an hour north of New Orleans. Restaurants and bars all over the country are now jumping on the Abita bandwagon.

5. Or you order Dixie.

Dixie Brewing Company dates back to 1907 and was one of New Orleans’ oldest breweries until the levees broke following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Dixie Brewing Company sustained severe damage. It remains closed, but Dixie beer continues to be — God, forgive this blasphemy — brewed out-of-state.

6. You’re not afraid of a Sazerac.

The Sazerac, considered America’s first cocktail, was created in New Orleans in 1838. It’s a combination of Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Bitters, a sugar cube and a lemon peel. Many New Orleans restaurants and bars serve up the Crescent City’s finest drink and the locals love it too.

7. You hear the word “Hurricane” and think of Pat O’s instead of the weather.

Pat O’Briens is as iconic to New Orleans as beignets and the French Quarter. The infamous bar’s signature drink is the “Hurricane,” which dates back to World War II. The sweet rum concoction gets its name from the 26 oz. hurricane lamp-shaped glass in which it’s served, complete with a garnish of orange slice and a cherry. The first one goes down silky smooth and the second one, oh, who are we kidding? You won’t remember the second one.

8. In other states, when the bartender yells “Last Call” you ask “What’s that?”

The Bayou State is booze friendly and was the last to change its drinking age to 21 (and not without a huge court battle). So it’s no surprise that Louisiana has no state restrictions on the hours a bar may operate. Cities can set their own laws, but some bars, mostly in New Orleans, are open 24 hours a day! Mimosas at 7am? Absolutely.

9. You pop by an out-of-state liquor store on Sunday morning and it’s closed!? WTF?!

Need a little hooch before praising the Lord on a Sunday morning? In Louisiana it’s no problem. Liquor-selling establishments have no restrictions on when they can sell alcohol.

10. You bring your 18-year-old sister to out-of-state bars thinking she’ll actually get in.

Yes, you must be 21 to purchase alcohol in Louisiana, but you can enter a bar at age 18. Even better, if you’re the parent or legal guardian of an 18 to 20 year old, you can buy alcohol for them in a bar or restaurant! Ok, nine other states allow that too, but it’s just cooler in Louisiana.

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