The answer: Your first price increase as a new business. When the pandemic shut down businesses across New Orleans in March, we were only one month old. To better serve our guests and in anticipation of the unknown, we reduced the price of 504Rum to $25 per bottle with the intention of keeping it throughout the shutdown. We weren't selling in any stores and had no idea what the next year would bring.
Months later, we're here to tell the tale. We still have no idea what this dumpster fire of a year still has in store for us, but we are extremely lucky and very grateful to be featured on shelves in 20 stores across the Greater New Orleans area and one Total Wine in Lafayette (shout out). Additionally, our patio and outside seating area has reopened at 25% capacity.
To adjust to the times, we are raising our bottle prices in the tasting room. At the end of the day, we can't undercut our store accounts if we want to continue to grow. And we sure, sure do want to keep growing. Despite the new prices, our 20% discount for hospitality employees, healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers will continue until the end of 2020.
New bottle prices (effective November 1, 2020):
504Hibiscus - $29
504Bananas Foster - $32
504Gold - $29
504Silver - $25
2oz. 504Bananas Foster
1oz. caramel banana simple syrup
1oz. half and half
1 dash of chocolate bitters
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until very cold and difficult to hold. Pour into a rocks glass or a martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon.
To make the caramel simple syrup:
Mix caramel Sunday sauce (like the kind you loved as a kid) with regular simple syrup and add 1/4 teaspoon pure banana extract. Don't buy the artificial banana extract unless you love that flavor. Spring for the good stuff.
Where do we even begin with this gorgeous baby angel of an autumn cocktail? We discovered this recipe in the early summer and it was the official cocktail of our family's Tennessee mountain vacation. We brought it home to share with our favorite people (our tasting room guests) and promptly learned that all of you wise souls with good sense did not care to indulge in a milk-based cocktail in 100 degree weather. Fair. Enough. At the time of writing this little post, it is September. The weather has mercifully cooled off, the holidays are upon us and it is the Dirty Banana's TIME TO SHINE. Simple, festive, nostalgic, and all around cozy and chilled at the same time, the Dirty Banana is pretty much everything we need right now.
Coffee (This was our #1 bestselling drink during Mardi Gras)
Hot apple cider
An Irish cream liqueur
Grab the coco flavor from Pilones de la abuela and add a shot of 504BF
Peanut butter whiskey (hey, we've been told it's pretty good!)
Add it to a milkshake or top off your ice cream
2oz. 504Bananas Foster
1oz. banana simple syrup
1oz. lime juice
Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is very cold and difficult to hold. Strain into a glass. Serves 1.
To make the banana simple syrup:
Combine 16oz. sugar and 16oz. water, then add 1/4 tsp pure banana extract while cooking. Stir occasionally until dissolved. Cool and store. Don't use artificial banana flavoring unless you really love that flavor. Get the good stuff.
Traditional daiquiris are - in our very humble opinion - the best way to experience a new rum. Our Head Distiller Mark's favorite drink order at a bar with a nice rum selection: "Make me a traditional daiquiri with something interesting." Just like any other new rum, we turned to a daiquiri with the 504Bananas Foster and without great expectations. This is gonna be weird, right? Guys, we were wrong. Just the right balance of sweetness from the simple syrup, and sharp citrus that cuts through any overly banana-y flavor from the lime. It's an unexpected balance and a fast favorite. We can't wait for you all to try this one.
1oz. 504Bananas Foster
1/2 oz. banana muscovado simple syrup
5 dashes angostura bitters
Combine ingredients in a rocks glass. Add ice. Stir. Enjoy. Serves 1.
To make the banana muscovado simple syrup: Combine 16oz muscovado sugar and 16oz water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 tsp pure banana extract. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Cool and store.
(Don't use the weird artificial banana extract. Unless you love that flavor. You do you.)
Confession time. Our cofounder Meagen doesn't care for an old-fashioned. Our 504Gold Rum Old-Fashioned has long been a standing favorite in our tasting room, but her precious dainty palette simply prefers the florals and tropical notes of a 504Hibiscus daiquiri, or the minty, lemony deliciousness of the Sister Suffragette, or the fun nostalgia of the Dirty Shirley. Old-Fashioneds just aren't her thing. Cut to now.
Recipe testing cocktails for a brand launch is - no surprise - a very fun process. We try several different new ideas and variations of old cocktail favorites, looking for that perfect balance of fancy-but-not-too-fancy, special-but-not-unapproachable. It's important to us that any cocktail we make in our tasting room, you can also make at home. This 504Bananas Foster Old-Fashioned is all of these things and more. A little sweeter than our traditional 504Gold Old-Fashioned and perfect for the oncoming fall season, we've been making this at home and even that old dry-spirit curmudgeon Meagen is loving it. We hope you do, too.
If you're an entrepreneur, then you know the special hell that is trying to name and trademark your new brand. It's one of those "should-be-fun-but-is-actually-pretty-hard" traps of getting started. When we were in that phase circa 2017, our son was still an infant. A loud, sort of screechy, but very sweet infant that didn't sleep. We often said he sounded like a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. After weeks or more of brainstorming and trademark database verifying, we had nothin' but a bunch of weird words smushed together. One evening, Peter made a comment that our son sounded like a velociraptor, but a happy one. (Not the door-opening, escape from the paddock, life finds a way raptor.) A Happy Raptor. Lightbulb. Perfect.
Today, our son is almost four and the name still embodies his bright energy and our mission to create premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy. The best surprise has been relating to other parents who come into the tasting room. On many an occasion, we've seen a mom or dad's face light up when we tell the story and exclaim, "My daughter sounded like a pterodactyl!" or "My kid was a T-Rex!". It's a reassuring connection that unexpectedly brings out the same nostalgia and joy in our guests as it does for us. As for our son, he only knows the company as "my raptor".
Through Sat, September 19th, we're assisting University of Holy Cross to collect donations for members of our Louisiana community impacted by Hurricane Laura. Happy Raptor is happy to say thank you with a free 16oz. Hibiscus Hurricane every time you donate!
Reports from Lake Charles have stated that first responders are
in great need of wash clothes and bath towels.
· Cases of Bottled Water, Powerade, Gatorade [VERY IMPORTANT - They have no running water right now]
· Contractor Trash Bags
· Work Gloves
· Latex Gloves
· Hand Sanitizer
· Cases of Bleach, Lysol, Clorox Wipes, etc.
· Rakes, Mops, Brooms, Buckets, Shovels, etc.
· Utility Knives (for removing sheetrock)
· Cases of Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Kleenex, etc.
· Flashlights & Batteries
· Non-perishable dry goods and canned goods
· Easily prepared non-perishable food (remember - no electricity and no tap water)
· Baby Items (Diapers, Wipes, Formula, Food, Bottles, Powder, etc.)
· Plastic storage bins
· Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, floss, feminine products, deodorant, etc.
· Boxes & Packing Tape
· Duct Tape
· Dog and Cat Food
· Giftcards (Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.)
NOTE: We are NOT ACCEPTING clothes
1oz. raw sugar simple syrup
4 slices lemon
8 or 9 large mint leaves
Put lemon and mint in shaker. Add simple syrup and muddle together. Add rum and ice to your shaker. Shake vigorously and double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon. Serves 1.
The Sister Suffragette was a tasting room special that we released in that month-long period between coronavirus closures in honor of our 3rd of July Drop-In. This quickly became a top 5 favorite of our co-founder Meagen and a bestseller at the bar with our guests. Since this recipe requires muddling lemons and mint, it's harder to adapt as one of our 32oz. cocktails for pick up. We're working on a version that can be pre-batched, but in the meantime these are fun and easy to make at home. The zip from the lemon and light, cool refreshment of the mint, not to mention the richness of the 504Gold, make it on of our favorite drinks of the summer.
As a reminder, Happy Raptor is honoring every "I Voted" sticker or selfie outside your polling station this election season with a FREE boozy freeze pop. #GeauxVote!
**A note from our co-founder Meagen because it's important: Mary Poppins is clearly a masterpiece and one of my favorite movies of all time. This little musical number inspired the name of our dainty yet punchy cocktail and it's all very charming. HOWEVER, the suffragette movement (while extremely important) also left behind - and set a precedent that continues to leave behind - women of color. As for us, delicious rum cocktails should never leave anyone behind even if they do have a cute name. If you're reading a bunch of disruptive and interesting books about our society while waiting for covid to pass (me too), check out White Feminism by my friend Koa Beck upcoming this Spring (!!).**
4oz. Pineapple Juice
1oz. Orange Juice
1oz. Cream of Coconut
Dash of nutmeg
Fill your shaker with ice. Shake until icy cold and strain into a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with a cherry. (We like maraschino cherries for a little tiki fun.) Serves 1.
It was our pleasure to partner with the wonderful, artful Krewe of Krampus to release this old tiki favorite, the Painkiller. This is a recipe that our CEO and Head Distiller loves and has experimented with for years. He makes them at home and forces everyone to try the new recipe. Hard life, right? Until his wife says, "Oh no. Not another painkiller". Well, on July 25th at 7PM the Krewe of Krampus will celebrate their annual German Luau - and it's the perfect opportunity to debut this gorgeous cocktail. A traditional tiki drink with the light, beachy familiarity of pineapple, orange, and coconut, we call it the Schmerzmittel in honor of the event. That's German for "painkiller". According to wordreference.com. Because we don't speak German.
Don't feel like making one yourself? We get it. They're available for pick up in our tasting room through Saturday, and we'll be hosting a short cocktail demo during the luau! See you there!
1.5 oz. pineapple simple syrup
1oz. lime juice*
Add ice to your shaker and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a glass. Top with a maraschino cherry for fun. Serves 1.
*Do this to taste. Quantities may vary depending on how sweet your pineapple simple syrup turns out, and your personal preference.
To make the pineapple simple syrup:
Combine equal parts pineapple juice and sugar in a pot. (So, for example, 1 cup of each.) Heat in the pot until all the sugar has dissolved.
Before our company ever opened, we thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to have simple syrups made in-house?" It seems like a trivial idea, but simple syrups mean creativity, fresh ingredients, and fun. Unlike breweries who have the freedom to create new flavors all the time, it's a monumental effort to create a new product in the world of distilling. Federal red tape, ingredients, expensive labels, TTB approvals...it can take a long time and it's a big deal. Cocktails open doors to fun and creativity in a whole new way and for our Head Distiller and Co-Founder Mark Taliancich, that outlet for new ingredients and new experiments means a lot. When the doors opened, our "what ifs" became reality, and the pineapple simple syrup was the very first flavor we made in-house. After several months and a pandemic, it's already a customer favorite.
A note on traditional daiquiris like this one: They can seem a little more advanced if you're a two-ingredient and done thank you very much kind of at-home bartender (see Hibiscus Lemonade) but they really are easy. If you're a foodie who loves to try new recipes but hasn't really done much with spirits yet, start here. It's the very best way to taste a good rum, and once you learn it you've opened yourself up to a world of new cocktail and flavor possibilities.
Pick-up appointments strongly encouraged.
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Credit/Debit is preferred in the tasting room. We do not keep cash on the premises and cannot give change for cash transactions. If necessary, special arrangements can be made in advance of your visit.
1512 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Corner of Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd & Carondelet Street
One block off Saint Charles Ave @ Melpomene streetcar stop