Derecho at the Da Levee bar

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

Did you know Da Levee, that Creole-and-Cajun spot in the Short North, has been retrofitted with a new bar? Now serving as the teensy space's centerpiece, the bar is topped in shiny stainless steel and decked out in Mardi Gras beads. To match the food menu (creoles, jambalayas and etoufees), they've come up with a list of New Orleans-inspired cocktails.

My favorite is the one with a Midwestern twist: the Derecho, Da Levee's take on a Hurricane. Those rum punch drinks are ubiquitous in Nola, and this boozy version (named after the wind storm that knocked out power here a couple summers back) is a worthy homage. It's got both light and dark rums, fresh squeezed lemon, lime and orange juices, house-made grenadine and a splash of red pop. One sip of this bright red fruity drink (available by the glass and by the carafe) sent me right back to scorching afternoon spent sipping Hurricanes on a little New Orleans patio tucked just far enough away from the Bourbon Street raucous.

Here's a peek at the rest of the still-developing drink list:

The Sazerac: Bulleit Rye, raw sugar and Peychaud's bitters served in an absinthe-rinsed glass

Dat Bloody Mary: House-made Creole Bloody Mary mix spiked with Tito's vodka

The St. Charles: Bombay Sapphire, fresh squeezed lime juice, Peychaud's bitters, tonic

Crusta: Bulleit Bourbon, Cointreau, fresh squeezed lemon juice, maraschino, raw sugar, Angostura bitters

Cajun Lemonade: fresh squeezed lemons, raw sugar, Tabasco, soda, vodka

The Roffignac: Hennessey, fresh raspberry syrup, soda