The Turtle Bar
When tourist opt to visit the historic Houmas House mansion they arrive with the expectation of seeing the wrap around porches, the commanding columns and the 500 year old moss-draped Live Oak trees across the front lawn. The guided tour begins next to the Burnside Oak, named after one of the most charismatic owners of the estate. Also at this site is a small hexagonal building known as a Garconniere. It's perfectly nestled under the low-lying branch of the Burnside Oak and more commonly known as The Turtle Bar. Upon further inspection, this very unassuming structure is one of the favorite spots for both locals and tourists alike. With only 8 barstools in the original structure, this "hole in the wall" tavern is home to over 225 whiskies from 11 different countries. And is also accompanied by the second largest wine cellar in the state of Louisiana.
Although Houmas House has become a premier destination to visit in Louisiana, the Turtle Bar is far from a tourist trap. It's here, locals gather after work or on weekends before settling in for dinner in one of two restaurants. It's a favorite spot to impress out of town guests, first dates, or small groups of friends. And you never know what celebrity will walk through the doors for break from the paparazzi.
And only in the Turtle Bar will you find expertly crafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients from the Houmas House gardens. Throughout the year the bartenders can be found rushing to the gardens to grab fresh mint, figs, satsumas or kumquats from the nearby gardens and trees to create a refreshing cocktail made to order.
The Turtle Bar is usually manned by Derek and John who have over 20 years experience between them. Their favorite part of every day is meeting visitors from every corner of the world and introducing them to the Louisiana culture, cuisine and cocktails.
The mission at Houmas House Plantation is to always give guests a reason to visit again. With so much to experience on one property, it's necessary to come multiple times to fully appreciate everything Houmas House offers. Hopefully the Turtle Bar will inspire you to add a second stop at "The Sugar Palace" to your bucket list for 2016.
This month The Turtle Bar recommends its newest bourbon whiskey- Houmas House's exclusive bottling of Russell's Reserve.
Russell's Reserve is handpicked by Wild Turkey's master distillers as the best barrels in their rickhouses. John & Derek personally selected our private barrel for its robust flavor and is available for sale now in the Houmas House gift shop. This whiskey is bottled at 110 proof and is perfect as a sipper or in cocktails. This specialty item has a limited supply.