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.
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.
5 dashes of angostura bitters
5 dashes of orange bitters
1/2 spoonful of cherry juice
Add ice to your rocks glass. Stir. Top with a cherry (we prefer Luxardo cherries at home #fancy). Serves 1.
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.
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.
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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