Hi Happy Raptor family!
I'm Ash, the Marketing Manager (and sometimes bartender/tour guide) at Happy Raptor.
June is Pride Month - an important time in the LGBTQ community to celebrate identity and community, and pay respects to those who came before us, fighting the fight so we can thrive.
As a queer nonbinary person making (or attempting to make) a career in marketing and communications, the display of rainbow capitalism during Pride month is more than frustrating, and I hesitate to use any official platforms to celebrate Pride from a business standpoint. I don’t want to exploit my identity or community for the sake of likes, shares, and ultimately, profit.
Luckily, I have an incredible team around me at Happy Raptor and a boss that says “yes, and” to my ideas, so we’re doing things a bit different this month.
We hope you will join us in celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, especially trans, gender non-conforming, and BIPOC members of our community. The first Pride was a riot, and we owe our collective liberation to black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson.
Several staff members at Happy Raptor are part of the LGBTQ community, so we’re sharing our stories with you this month. We’re also doing everything we can to uplift the LGBTQ+ community in New Orleans. A portion of the proceeds from cocktail specials, 504Hibiscus Lemonade, and cocktail class admission on June 19th and 20th will benefit House of Tulip, an organization supporting trans and gender non-conforming communities in New Orleans through providing access to housing, education, healthcare, employment and home ownership.
On Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th we’re hosting our first-ever Pride Arts Market! Queer creators of all backgrounds will be set up to sell their wares and share their art with you. More information and details are available on our website, Facebook, and Instagram.
To close, I want to tell y’all about this photo - a few years ago, I went to World Pride in New York City. There was glitter and rainbows and parading and partying, but most importantly, there was family and community.
Pride is many things and it means something different to everyone, but I think the feeling of community, acceptance, and family is universal, and that’s why we do it year after year.
This May, we took to the streets in our neighborhood to clear storm drain catch basins as part of Pontchartrain Conservancy's #StormSweep2021 efforts! We learned from Pontchartrain Conservancy's work that as litter accumulates in our streets and sewer systems, it prevents Lake Pontchartrain from draining properly, threatening homes, businesses and roadways with flooding. We know that our tasting room takes on water FAST if the storm drains on our street aren't properly cleaned, so as a local business and as a community partner of this year's Storm Sweep, we knew it was up to us to clean our streets and protect our building from flooding.
Through May 31, you can stop into the tasting room for a free 8oz. cocktail with proof of Storm Sweep volunteer registration - after cleaning drains this week, we definitely needed a drink.
We cleaned nearly 20 storm drains in our neighborhood, and y'all, it was no easy thing. Our team was armed with shovels, trowels, a rake, gardening and work gloves, and trash bags, and it still felt like it wasn't enough.
Among the trash we found clogging our drains were:
If you want to be part of the solution, head on over to the Storm Sweep website. Hurricane season officially starts June 1, but as we New Orleanians know, street flooding has no respect for the Gregorian calendar and causes the destruction of many a car and home year-round.
.25oz. Simple Syrup
5 shakes Chili Bitters (or more if you're feelin' extra spicy)
Pour all ingredients in a rocks glass, either neat or over ice. Stir and enjoy.
HOW TO MAKE CHILI BITTERS
2 cups clear rum (we recommend 504Silver)
16 habanero peppers, quartered and dried (seeds in)
2 limes, sliced and dried
8 allspice berries, crushed
6 espresso beans
4 whole cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
Infuse all ingredients in rum for two weeks. Strain and bottle.
We love spicy drinks. On our back patio, we're always growing some variety of hot peppers. Currently, habaneros are beginning to ripen. (Many of our staff members have green thumbs and successfully grow cayennes, jalapeños, poblanos, and various other peppers and herbs successfully - remember that post we did earlier this spring about planting a cocktail garden?) Our menu has previously featured spicy daquiris and other spicy cocktails, but we wanted something simple to highlight the flavor of our rum with just a small kick - an Old Fashioned seemed like the right opportunity. We use smoked chilis in the bitters we make, which complements the oaky flavor of 504Gold so well. This twist on the old fashioned is our new favorite - if the thought of making bitters on your own terrifies you, stop in to try our version in the tasting room!
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons 504Bananas Foster Rum
3/4 cup sugar
OPTIONAL- 1/2 cup chopped nuts toasted (suggested-pecans)
1) Mix first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan
2) Bring to a boil. Boil, whisking/stirring constantly until alcohol smell has evaporated.
3) Remove from heat. Optional -Stir in nuts after you remove from heat .
4) Glaze your cake of choice after removing from cake-tin. Let cool.
Obviously we love drinking our rum, but there’s so much more you can do with 504Rum than making cocktails. Our Guest Experience Coordinator Mel recently used 504Bananas Foster in the kitchen, making a rum glaze for cake. You can make a rum glaze with any of our rums, but we recommend the following pairings:
504Bananas Foster pairs well with:
- Cinnamon cake
- Chocolate cake
- Coffee cake
- Vanilla cake
- Coconut cake
- Nut-based cakes
504Hibiscus pairs well with:
- Lemon cake
- Vanilla cake
- Fruit cake
504Silver pairs well with:
- Any cake!
(Especially our latest batch. It may be the best rum ever...
Swap 504Silver in Mel’s recipe for a more traditional buttered rum glaze - an upgraded classic!)
504Gold pairs well with:
- Chocolate cake
- Coconut cake
- Vanilla cake
- Coffee cake
- Nut-based cakes
1oz passion fruit
splash of orange blossom water
5 dashes house bitters
Add ingredients to shaker with ice, shake and strain over ice.
Those weekends when the jasmine is in full bloom, the sun is warm but not scorching, and everyone seems to be headed across the city for one festival or another... we find ourselves craving something sweet, fruity, and boozy. The Spring in New Orleans combines some of our favorite spring flavors with aromatic orange blossom water and our floral 504Hibiscus rum. Every time we take a sip, we swear we can hear jazz playing.
At Happy Raptor, uplifting the work of local nonprofits is central to our operations and mission. We're lucky to partner with nonprofits year round, and this May it's our main focus - that's why we're dubbing it the Month of Giving. Keep reading for a full list of this month's partnerships and how you can support these great New Orleans-based organizations!
Are you involved with a nonprofit organization? We offer our space as an event venue at no cost to nonprofits. Contact our Guest Experience Coordinator for more information: email@example.com.
1 1/2 oz. 504Hibiscus rum
1/2 oz. mint simple syrup
4oz. ginger beer
Fill rocks glass with ice. Pour in the ginger beer. Mix 504Hibiscus rum and mint simple syrup. Slowly pour the rum and simple syrup mixture over the top. Add a little umbrella because it's simply just practical and enjoy.
Do you remember the 2020 hurricane season? The one where the Gulf Coast got threatened and directly hit with storms so many times that the powers that be had to deep dive into the Greek alphabet to name these overactive bundles of climate uncertainty, all during the most stressful year in contemporary memory? Yes, that hurricane season. In response, we proudly introduced the Tropical Storm in our tasting room and sold them at a discount because good grief. In 2021, we're dusting these off with our old flashlights and prayer candles, and here's hoping this delicious cocktail is as dark and stormy as it gets this year.
1oz. Lemon juice
1oz. Pineapple simple syrup
Sprite or sparkling water (lemon, lime, pineapple or unflavored)
Pour rum, lemon juice, and pineapple simple syrup into a shaker with ice. Mix and strain over ice, top with sprite or sparkling water.
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.
In case you haven't noticed, we've got a thing for that dinosaur movie from the '90s... Inspired by one of the greatest scenes, we wanted to create a cocktail with the perfect mixture of sour and sweet.
2oz. 504Bananas Foster
2oz. Orange Juice
5 shakes orange bitters
Pour rum, orange juice, and bitters over ice. Top with grenadine for a sunset-visage.
All the rain last week had us missing the sun, so our Tasting Room Manager Parker concocted this cocktail reminiscent of a tequila sunrise and replaced the tequila with 504Bananas Foster. The Sunrise Split managed to summon the sun back to New Orleans' skies, so we think it worked!
1oz. orange juice
1oz. cranberry juice
1oz. pineapple habanero simple syrup
6 dashes chili bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and strain over ice.
Making the Pineapple Habanero Simple Syrup
Combine 1 part pineapple juice with 1 part sugar and simmer. Once the sugar is dissolved, add cut habaneros (how many you add depends on how spicy you want it - if you want extra spice, include the seeds) and simmer for half an hour. Strain into a container for later use.
Our tasting room manager Parker was feeling a nostalgia for simpler times when he came up with this new favorite from our Spring 2021 menu.
Filled with the spirit of Ferris Bueller, Parker was on a quest to reinvent the old school juice box - but WAY less Full House and more Breakfast Club. Packed full of blatant rebellion against parents you may or may not still live with, the Monkey Wrench is a tribute to detentions spent in the lunch room slurping on a leftover pouch of Hawaiian Punch - but this time with specialty chili bitters and a handmade pineapple habanero simple syrup that you made yourself because #ADULTING.
A little bit sweet, a little bit tart, a little bit spicy, and the perfect amount of 504Hibiscus. We recommend this in lieu of mimosas for your weekend brunch plans, and maybe put on some Radiohead or Blink 182 while you're at it.
CHECK OUT OUR COCKTAIL DEMO ON FACEBOOK LIVE
PICK UP ONLY - BY APPOINTMENT
Mon-Thurs | 12pm-7pm
Fri-Sun | 12pm-7pm
TOURS AND TASTINGS - BY APPOINTMENT
Everyday | 12pm-7pm
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
Free street parking is available
Bicyclists receive 10% off
*The address may also appear on your GPS as 1512 Robert C. Blakes Sr. Drive. Never fear - you're in the right place! We are located on a renamed, two-block stretch of Carondelet Street.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC is a woman-owned business and a member of the Certified Louisiana network.
According to law, we never sell or promote the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
Please drink responsibly.