Updated: May 24
There is a new destination that you do not want to miss in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Sazerac House on Canal Street. This museum honors the Sazerac Cocktail, its history, its traditions and its ingredients. Free tours begin every 20 minutes. You will wander through 3 stories of interactive, multimedia displays that describe all things Sazerac, from its beginnings in France to the Bitters developed in New Orleans, that flavor the libation. Free samples are included and you can purchase all the ingredients to make Sazeracs at home, in their extensive gift shop on the first floor.
A beautifully restored former Hat & Glove Factory, which has stood vacant for several decades, houses this temple to all things Sazerac and the Cocktail History of New Orleans. The three story building is very impressive with some of the original structure incorporated into the building's new life. The wall of whiskey and the floating staircase pictured above are two of its most dramatic features.
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You will learn about the distillation process for Rye Whiskey. The base ingredient in the Sazerac. You will also discover the whys and hows of the production of rum in Louisiana. As well as the role of sugar cane and Caribbean trade routes as the catalyst to rum production.
The second most important ingredient in a Sazerac is Peychaud Bitters, created in the 1850's by Dr. Peychaud in his Magazine Street Pharmacy. The Sazerac House is licensed to produce Peychaud Bitters from Dr. Peychaud's exact recipe. You can see aromatic herbs that make up the Bitters and the vats of fermenting bitters.
The exhibits and displays are artfully done. They not only walk you through the history of the Sazerac but they walk you through the evolution of cocktails in New Orleans. It all started in the 1850's with Dr Peychaud, the Merchants Exchange and its "Coffee Bar."
The Sazerac House is open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. They are located at 101 Magazine Street on the corner of Magazine St. and Canal St. Tours start every 20 minutes and are free of charge. Check their website for Special Tasting Events and to make reservations for a tour.
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We found some delightful places to stay through them.
Ritz Carlton, New Orleans - Splurge Worthy
Roosevelt Hotel - Historic Luxury
Royal Sonesta, French Quarter - Best Location Luxury
Place d'Armes - Best Location Budget Friendly