This Is the Ultimate Place to Drink a Sazerac Cocktail
New Orleans’ now has an official Big Easy home, where you can learn about (and drink) its history in a gorgeously restored, 200-year-old space.
The buildings (there are two, which recently had their grand opening) are located on the corner of Canal and Magazine Streets, just a few hundred yards from the original 1850 Sazerac Coffee House—the site where the Sazerac Cocktail was first introduced and the company was born.
The three-story space is billed as an immersive educational experience on the history of New Orleans, told through the lens of its famous cocktails, and it’s meant to delight with a working still, virtual bartenders, and interactive, scannable coasters that act as exhibit keys.
But Sazerac House is also a working distillery, which will manufacture a portion of both the Sazerac rye whiskeyOpens a New Window. brand, as well as Peychaud’s Bitters (making this the first legal whiskey distillery in the Central Business District).
Homecoming has been, well, a long time coming. Construction alone has taken more than two years, as preservation-minded architects revamped a 48,000-square-foot space that had been vacant for more than three decades. But it’s been much longer for the Sazerac brand.
Sazerac was once a massive empire, known for much more than alcohol. Since the early 1600s, Sazerac has produced everything from cannons to paper, before eventually settling neatly into the spirits business you see today. Though Sazerac has its own namesake rye whiskey and own whiskey brands like Buffalo Trace, the New Orleans house isn’t just a distillery tour with extras. They’ll also feature other liquors, including Peychaud’s Bitters.
The opening of The Sazerac House is also tied to the brand’s 2016 purchase of the Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac brand, which manufactures the Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” cognac that will now be available exclusively at the Sazerac House.
Of course, some elements of the museum are more traditional. Visitors still get a chance to browse the exhibits, which explore modern cocktail culture, the Sazerac brand’s whiskey production process, and an interactive Mr. Boston cocktail guide, among other things. You’ll be able to sample many of the liquids in question along the way (as long as you’re 21). And you’ll of course exit through the gift shop, but hopefully not without a souvenir coaster, and hopefully a bottle or two.