An early look at Sazerac House, interactive ode to New Orleans cocktail culture

https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/eat-drink/article_0744ea1e-d581-11e9-9604-434d2368e4bb.html

An early look at Sazerac House, interactive ode to New Orleans cocktail culture

BY IAN MCNULTY | STAFF WRITER

The sazerac stands tall in the pantheon of New Orleans drinks. Soon, the doors will open to a new attraction inspired by the cocktail and to the drinking culture of its hometown.

Sazerac House is now slated to open to the public on Oct. 2, at the corner of Magazine and Canal streets. As the final pieces of this intricately wrought new development are moved into place, a media preview tour showed off its many gleaming new features.

Part interactive museum, part brand showroom, part micro distillery, part event space, Sazerac House is the creation of the Sazerac Co., the giant distilling and liquor company owned by local businessman Bill Goldring.

“This is our home,” said Miguel Solorzano, Sazerac House general manager. “The Sazerac Co. and New Orleans go back a long way.”

He said Sazerac House was conceived as an “immersive exploration of the spirited culture of New Orleans.” Public exhibits cover three floors, showing the history and traditions of cocktails, their interplay with New Orleans and the company’s current and past brands.

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An interactive bar where you can sit and interact with digital bartenders at The Sazerac House at 101 Magazine Street in downtown New Orleans on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

Exhibits revolve around both vintage artifacts and modern technology, with touch screens and interactive video displays of bartenders to guide visitors through the intricacies of the craft.

A microdistillery on the ground floor will produce Sazerac Rye, a prime ingredient for the Sazerac cocktail, and visitors can see every step of the production process firsthand. One exhibit also doubles as a production room for Peychaud’s Bitters, another Sazerac ingredient (and another Sazerac Co. brand). More exhibits focus rum and barrel aging and other facets of the industry.

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A display highlighting bitters and how they are made at The Sazerac House at 101 Magazine Street in downtown New Orleans on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

Visitors can also taste the finished products at sampling tables, and the museum will also offer seminars and classes.

Other floors of Sazerac House are devoted to event spaces and corporate offices for the Sazerac Co.

The project, first announced in 2016, has taken shape in a pair of historic but long-vacant properties on a high profile corner of downtown New Orleans.

Sazerac House

101 Magazine St. (at Canal Street)

Scheduled to open Oct. 2