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Only a city as fantastical as New Orleans could conjure up a cocktail fairytale worthy of Walt Disney’s admiration! But such is the case with the once-upon-a-time, rags-to-riches story of the Ojen Cocktail!

As liqueurs go, Ojen was born of modest means in the 1830s. Created and bottled near Ojén, Spain, it really didn’t make much of a splash until a fateful voyage to New Orleans. There – with an absinthe ban leaving the city sober in ways that didn’t sit well and in the creative hands of its bartenders – magic was made.

A simple mixture of Peychaud’s Bitters and Ojen swizzled deliciously and ever so delicately over ice—the Ojen Cocktail debuted to instant and immense popularity among the well-heeled, bejeweled upper-crust set. Holding court at the Boston Club, an elite gentlemen’s club, with the likes of the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz, the shamelessly sweet Ojen Cocktail was so embraced by the blue-bloods it was sarcastically labeled the “preferred cocktail of the Rex ruling class.”

Class conceit and humor aside, drinking the Ojen Cocktail before parading was considered good luck by the Krewe of Rex and quickly came to be called the Mardi Gras drink. Its place in carnival lore was cemented for a long, long time, until…its magic suddenly disappeared.

One day in the 1990s, without warning, Ojen production stopped, and New Orleans panicked. That’s when Cedric Martin of Martin Wine Cellar, recognizing its importance to our culture, acquired the last batch of 6,000 bottles. Hoarded away, Martin’s stash proved just enough to last two decades, and just long enough for the Sazerac Company to rescue and reverse-engineer a recipe from a few existing bottles.

It was a revival years in the making, with the utmost attention given to recreating its unique flavor profile, but when the Sazerac Company re-released Legendre Ojen in 2016, they had revived something “as close as possible to the original.”

Named to honor New Orleanian J. Marion Legendre, the inventor of Herbsaint, Legendre Ojen pays respect to its adopted home and ensures, with any luck, that one Mardi Gras tradition will reign supreme for future generations and live on, happily ever after.




Events


Drink & Learn: A Punch Perfect Summer

Friday, June 14, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us for an exciting evening of cocktail exploration as we dive into the art of batched cocktails, perfectly suited for summer gatherings. Local drinks Historian Elizabeth Pearce will lead this elevated experience. Participants will enjoy four iconic cocktails as they discover the secrets behind balancing flavors, selecting quality ingredients, and mastering the art of batching cocktails for entertaining. $45 per person. All guests must be 21 to participate. Guided Sazerac product tasting. Approximately 90 minutes. 45 people maximum capacity

Elevated Sazerac Cocktail Tasting

Sunday, June 23, 2024
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

June 23rd is named Sazerac Cocktail Day for a reason! Join us as we explore the evolution of New Orleans’ official cocktail: The Sazerac! This is an elevated, boozier version of our daily tasting class which featuring Sazerac products: Cognac de Forge, Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, and Herbsaint Liqueur. $45 per person. Approximately 75 minutes.

Sazerac Cocktail Day! House Tour

Sunday, June 23, 2024
11:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Sazerac House Tour will be transformed for this one-day-only experience! Join us in celebration on June 23rd, the day in 2008 when the Sazerac Cocktail was named the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana State Legislature. Guests of the Sazerac House will experience an elevated museum experience which includes amplified tastings and storytelling of the spirits that make the Sazerac Cocktail so special!  Peychaud’s Bitters and Peychaud’s Aperitivo Spritz Samples in Peychaud’s Apothecary  High end Sazerac de Forge Cognac sampling  Specialty Herbsaint cocktail  Sazerac Rye Whiskey sampling (our in-house distilled spirit!)  The Perfect Sazerac Cocktail Guests must be 21 and over to enjoy the samples. Tickets are $10 per person. Guests under 21 or not wishing to drink may purchase a free ticket to enjoy the museum and storytelling.

Sazerac Cocktail Day! House Tour + Speakeasy Access

Sunday, June 23, 2024
11:00 am - 4:15 pm

This ticket type includes the full Sazerac Cocktail Day experience PLUS access to the beautiful Charente Speakeasy Tasting Room to relax and enjoy a full-sized Sazerac Cocktail featuring Cognac de Forge. The Sazerac House Tour will be transformed for this one-day-only experience! Join us in celebration on June 23rd, the day in 2008 when the Sazerac Cocktail was named the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana State Legislature. Guests of the Sazerac House will experience an elevated museum experience which includes amplified tastings and storytelling of the spirits that make the Sazerac Cocktail so special!  Peychaud’s Bitters and Peychaud’s Aperitivo Spritz Samples in Peychaud’s Apothecary  High end Sazerac de Forge Cognac sampling  Specialty Herbsaint cocktail  Sazerac Rye Whiskey sampling (our in-house distilled spirit!)  The Perfect Sazerac Cocktail Guests must be 21 and over to enjoy the samples. Guests under 21, or those not wishing to drink, may purchase a free ticket to enjoy the museum and storytelling.