When the weather gets hot and steamy, it’s smart to head to a cool, high place that sports a 270-degree view of our lovely city, a terrace, central air and cocktails. I encourage you take the delightful vintage elevator up to the 14th story where Hot Tin Roof Top Bar sparkles like a jewel on top of the famous Hotel Pontchartrain.
The once swanky penthouse has been converted from a local lawyer’s (Colonel Deutsch) personal digs to Hot Tin, a happening hot spot for music and mingling. The Pontchartrain Hotel, first constructed in 1927, was once an 11story residential apartment. Today, the remodel (2016) and uplifting cocktails attract an diverse crowd with fun on their minds.
The Hot Tin has the look of a 1940s artist’s studio. The interior space is filled with comfy couches, a bar and cozy corners to visit with friends and lovers. While the walls are covered with writer’s memorabilia in honor of the famous celebrities that have stayed there, (Tennessee Williams, Rita Hayworth, The Doors and George H. W. Bush) the kitschy white and black curtains sport images of the Kama Sutra. Glass accordion doors open onto a terrace with bistro tables, stools and the million-dollar view of Downtown, while a second, more secluded terrace offers an eagle-eye view of Saint Charles Avenue.
One of Hot Tin’s signature cocktails, Death in the LGD (Lower Garden District) includes Old Tom Gin, Ginger Lemon Shrub, Lemon, Herbsaint and Cava. My curiosity was piqued with interest when I spotted the ‘Shrub’ ingredient. I did a little research and found that ‘Shrub’ (also known as drinking vinegar) has a long tradition as a beverage aid going all the way back to the Colonial Era. It originated a thousand years ago in the Middle East, where it became an excellent way to preserve the harvested fruit when it ripened. Vinegar and sugar help to preserve the fruit flavors while balancing each other out to make delicious sweet-tart syrup that is a natural base for a variety of drinks. Shrub is known for it’s refreshing qualities with or without alcohol.
The following is an easy recipe, which includes alcohol. Shrubs can be stored at room temperature, and ideally away from direct sunlight. Shake before using – separation is natural!
Hot Lemon Shrub
As appears in Lobscouse & Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups rum
Combine all ingredients, stir well, bottle and set aside in a cool place. It will be ready to drink after about a week.
Hot Tin Roof Top Bar @ Hotel Pontchartrain20
31 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA, 70130
Mon – Thurs 4pm-12pm
Fri – Sat 2pm-2am
Looking to book a private party or event? Please call: 504.323.1453