A Taste of the South: Notes from a Trip to Louisiana

Alcoholic Slushies in a Fun Venue

Bourbon Street has an endless number of bars selling both serious cocktails and fun artificial-fruit-syrupy ones. Tropical Isle falls happily in the second category. With four different locations on Bourbon Street alone, you don’t have to walk far to get your next hand grenade – their signature drink. We only visited one of the four locations, but if we were younger and liked to drink more, I’d had visited them all.

The bars are just cool. The drinks might be the grown up version of Kool-Aid, but the bars are the grown up versions of a daycare classroom, at least one decorated with flea market finds, featuring outrageous decorations that occupy your mind as it gets dumber and dumber from the alcohol.

As mentioned, their signature drink is the Hand Grenade. This is supposed to be made with “vodka, rum, gin and melon liqueur,” though the actual recipe is kept secret. In reality, it tastes like yet another super sweet Kool-Aid type drink with alcohol. It’s served either frozen, in a slushy form, or on the ice – though you can pay more to have without ice altogether. You’d have to have an extreme tolerance to sweets to go that route. The drink’s trademarked tagline is as “New Orleans most powerful drink,” though it’s unlikely that’s the case. We had the frozen Hand Grenade and it didn’t seem particularly strong, though the sweetness does a great job of hiding the alcoholic flavor. It also slows down how quickly you can drink this.

We also had the Tropical Itch, which comes in a totem-like red plastic glass. This had more of a tropical punch flavor. Again, it was too sweet and not too strong.

As much as I didn’t really liked the drinks, I did enjoy the cups and even brought them home. I also enjoyed hanging out by the window in the bar, looking at the decore.

Tropical Isle Bourbon
721 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, La
Daily 12:00 p.m. - ?

New Orleans Food Tour

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