Culinarily speaking, the last several years have been exciting ones for Baton Rouge. And like our expanding dining options, our adult beverage landscape has become deliciously wide and varied. After being pummeled during the COVID-19 shutdown, bars are back in a big way in the Capital Region, satisfying our unquenchable thirst for the many ways to enjoy a good restorative.
And it’s not just bars. If you like a nice cocktail, a glass of interesting wine or a local craft beer, restaurants across town are increasingly focusing on their beverage programs, with several launching independent bar concepts this year. Sneak off to the Brakes Bar—the posh Mid City speakeasy behind newly opened Spoke & Hub—for a quirky craft cocktail prepared with offbeat ingredients. Stroll a few doors down for classic and reinvented tiki cocktails at the Lotus Lounge, the bar within Soji Modern Asian. Slip behind a sliding wall to sip your highball in Juban’s new, sultry Tigre Room. Try a growing number of high-end tequila and mezcal flights at spots like Blue Corn, Modesto and Rock Paper Taco. Steel your liquid courage to try the bartenders’ latest creations at craft cocktail destinations like Hayride Scandal, The Lost Cove, Olive or Twist or The Radio Bar.
Hobnob with a sommelier to find the perfect wine and cheese pairing. Explore wine lists in chef-driven restaurants devoted to small, Old World producers. Hire a mobile cocktail cart for your next party. Slurp a craft beer on a rooftop bar. Visit a rum distillery with selections made from sugar cane harvested less than an hour away. Head for classic, cozy dive bars with loads of personality. The experiences are many—more than we’d ever have room for in these pages—so get out and explore. You can start with the ideas we’ve compiled in our May cover story.