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.
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.)
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
Top with a maraschino cherry for fun
*Do this to taste. Quantities may vary depending on how sweet your pineapple simple syrup turns out, and your personal preference.
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.
5 dashes of angostura bitters
5 dashes of orange bitters
1/2 spoonful of cherry juice
Add ice to your rocks glass
Top with a cherry (we prefer Luxardo cherries at home #fancy)
This is the only cocktail in our tasting room that people get oddly mad about before they try it. Faithful old-fashioned drinkers are used to the more familiar bourbon or whiskey, of course. Some die-hard guests don't believe it's a true old-fashioned without orange juice, to which our staff imagines them suddenly donning a top hot like the dad in Peter Pan and exclaiming "Poppycock! Pish Tosh! But there must be orange juice, old boy!".
Here's the thing, y'all. It's delicious. Our 504Gold rum makes all the difference and offers a really lovely and welcome alternative to the super floral notes of the (equally wonderful) 504Hibiscus. Aged for only two weeks on oak chips, the 504Gold captures the essence of a rum that has been barrel-aged for much longer, and brings in the familiar, warming notes of a drier spirit like whiskey, but with that noted depth and slight sweetness of handcrafted Louisiana rum to round out the flavor. If you love an old-fashioned, you will love this. We promise.
Want to know more? Here's a video on how to make it:
Lemonade of your choice
(Seriously, that's it.)
Having a party?
Mix 1 bottle of 504Hibiscus with 1 gallon of lemonade.
Just for you?
Put ice in a glass. Add 2 ounces of 504Hibiscus. Fill the rest with lemonade. Stir. Drink.
Want it sparkling?
Top off the cocktail with sparkling water! This is our co-founder Peter's favorite. In the tasting room, we use Key Lime flavored La Croix, but lime and lemon are nice, too.
Making boozy freeze pops?
Make the cocktail as usual. Grab a freezy pop mold of your choice. Fill it up. Freeze and serve.
Our 504Hibiscus Lemonade is tart, floral, refreshing, and gorgeous in the summer. It can be served flat or sparkling, appeals to a wide audience, and fits fancy parties, porches, and casual picnics alike. Want to know a secret? It is far and away the simplest thing we make in our tasting room and we sell more of these than any other cocktail. Friends, we LOVE having guests in our tasting room, but you absolutely don't have to journey to Central City to make it. Pick up a bottle of 504Hibiscus in your local store, grab a gallon of your favorite lemonade, and that's seriously it.
We do like to class it up in the tasting room when we can. During Mardi Gras 2020, for example, we teamed up with our friends at Rockin' Lemonade, a Baton Rouge-based, woman-owned, butt kicking company who crafted a special blend of lemonade from fresh-squeezed local lemons just for us. Rockin' specializes in flavored lemonades with real ingredients - and it's seriously worth a try if you're not in love already.
Want to know another secret? The boozy freeze pops we sell in our tasting room... You can make those at home, too. Every freeze pop in our tasting room is simply 504Hibiscus Lemonade in a cute fancy package. But beware, they are strong. Every freeze pop contains the same alcohol content as a can of beer. *Best consumed on the beach or at a pool party.* If you don't want to freeze these yourself, you can always come pick up a whole bunch from our tasting room. We've got you covered.
Throughout the month of July, Happy Raptor Distilling will partner with our friends at Angel's Place to collect gift cards and school supplies for members of our community in need. Angel's Place provides ongoing support services to children with life threatening illnesses and their families. Every individual (21 years or older) making a donation in the Happy Raptor tasting room gets one free freeze pop.
Preferred locations include Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, and Visa/Mastercard. Preferred amounts include $25 and $50, but any amount is appreciated.
Here's the list of needed supplies:
Spiral Notebooks: 3 subject, 5 subject. College ruled
Binders - 1/2", 1", 2"
T-84 graphing calculators
EXPO markers - black (most needed)
RED ink pens
Plastic folders with pockets - all colors
Plastic folders with pockets & prong fasteners - all colors
Binder dividers - tabbed, 5,8,12 packs
Construction paper - small packs
Markers - washable - in packs of 8 or 10
Highlighters - yellow (most needed)
Erasers - pink rectangles, individual pencil tops
Tape - rolls of Scotch tape in plastic dispenser
Scissors - pointy for older students
USB thumb drives
Headphones or earbuds
Index cards - Lined, white
Ruled handwriting tablet for K, 1st gr.
Watercolor paints - Crayola 6 or 8 set
Loose leaf - wide ruled, college ruled
Wipes - sanitizing
Plastic Ziplock bags - Gallon, Quart sizes
On June 14th, Happy Raptor will officially have been open four months. Our company is brand new and we've already seen unprecedented challenges knock at our door. The killing of George Floyd and repeated violence against the black community and people of color has impacted our country and each of us as individuals. Lately, our team has been doing a lot more listening than talking.
When it comes to rum - no matter how much we love it - the elephant in the room is the painful history of rum production and its origins, as well as the limitations and exclusivity around the craft alcohol industry towards minorities in general.
Racism and prejudice hurt everyone. It restricts wealth and holds back entire communities until there's not enough common prosperity to support small businesses, leaving us all unable to reach our full potential. Happy Raptor's mission is to create premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy. That cannot mean only the culture of our owners, and it cannot mean only the community that can afford premium rum.
We are having hard internal conversations and asking ourselves: "What do we want this company to mean to people?" As we grow, we are going to get things wrong and make mistakes. We hope that with communication, education, and action, our friends and neighbors will find trust in our team to (1) make amazing rum and (2) provide a safe and happy space for our community.
Since the beginning (four whole months ago), we have strictly enforced equal work for equal pay. We've dug in deep to help local nonprofits through donations, free access to our event space, and discounts everyday (not just during Covid). We are continuing our program to provide free 4oz. hand sanitizer to whomever needs it. We're laying down the building blocks to launch our first distilling internship, and basically doing our best to start off on the right foot and weave equity through the DNA fabric of our company.
If we make a mistake, tell us. If you need something, ask us. Our customer base at Happy Raptor is beautifully diverse, and we want to keep it that way.
A Message from our Co-Founder Meagen: I developed a gluten intolerance after a difficult illness and hospitalization in 2013 and haven't eaten a regular pizza crust since. Here are the top five things I miss that today will make me feel ill and testy with my husband for no reason:
1) Tortellini noodles
2) Focaccia bread
3) Craft beer
4) Filo dough
5) Really good wood fire pizza crust
Most days, I eat healthier in general and I don't miss much. Even Disney World has my back now, and most gluten free goodies like bread and pasta can be pretty great on this side of things. Most importantly, I don't have to give up one big important item - also my livelihood - delicious alcoholic beverages. With a few adjustments, knowing my own (in)tolerance, and asking a few questions when needed, I can still explore the big wide world of craft alcohol.
If you're #glutenfreelikeme, help me send a big shout out to Gluten Free New Orleans for partnering on this cheat sheet. We noticed our community needed a basic guide to navigate the options with a little expert insight, and we hope it's helpful. Craft alcohol is a fantastic way to support local and drink local (despite our allergies), and we're glad you're here. For more information on Happy Raptor's 100% gluten free product line, click here.
Note for Celiacs: At Happy Raptor, our production facility is 100% gluten free so the risk of cross-contamination is not present. We avoid ground spices in our infusions, opting for whole spices instead, and we absolutely never add anything with a gluten content to our infusions. So yep, it's safe for you, too.
DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION HERE:
2 ounces 504Hibiscus
1 ounce raw sugar simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
Pour into a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Serves 1.
In 2015, Mark and I landed with about 25 family members on the island of Martinique in the French West Indies to get married. Realizing that we were on a French-speaking island with only four fluent French speakers in our party and the full cast of characters that is our family and friends, we looked at each other and said, "This will be interesting." In the following week, we discovered that the stress-free wedding we naively planned on is actually an impossible dream that could only have been imagined by lunatics (that's us). However, the stunning beachside Caribbean ceremony we dreamed of was 100% achieved. After the ceremony, we hiked a volcano, walked the beaches, toured historic sugar mills, sampled some of the best rum in the world, ate so many fritters, and strolled through markets filled with colorful discoveries.
Most notably, we brought back two really important things from that trip: a packet filled with hibiscus and spices that we were instructed by the shop owner to infuse in a bottle of our favorite white rum, and a new sense that our lives are what we make of them. When we got home, we infused our first-ever bottle of rum and made a traditional daiquiri with it. Then we made a few more. Then Mark got obsessed with daiquiris and interrogated every poor bartender we met about their different rum lists in the process. (If you're one such bartender and you're reading this, we're sorry.)
Eventually, that little infusion became the first inspiration for Happy Raptor Distilling. By the time we really talked about opening a distillery, the wrapper that listed the ingredients were long gone and we have about 6 ounces left of the original bottle. Mark spent almost two years recreating and perfecting the recipe that would become 504Hibiscus, and the three of us (Mark, Peter, and I) tested every new batch with a hibiscus daiquiri. We tasted, corrected, and tasted again. The 504Hibiscus Daiquiri is a labor of love in its truest form. Years of complexities and thought have created a beautiful drink that is otherwise so simple, and it's definitely the closest to my heart. I hope you'll love it, too! And if you don't, you're probably more of a Rum Old-Fashioned person. More on that cocktail later. -- Meagen
Pick-up appointments strongly encouraged.
Book Online Now
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