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New Orleans and Mardi Gras go hand in hand, but the roots of our infamous celebration go all the way back to Medieval Europe. Long before New Orleans was a city, Europeans celebrated Carnival. So how did this celebration become so synonymous with NOLA? Well, it all starts with our French connections.

Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” in French, is the celebration that takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. In France, people would indulge in rich, fatty foods before the start of Lent. And from those humble origins, the beginnings of Carnival, as we know it, was born.

As the French colonized North America, they brought their joie de vivre with them, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans became a focal point for that spirit. Street parties, masked balls, fancy dinners, even the name of the very first place in what would become Louisiana, Pointe du Mardi-Gras, reflected this affinity for celebration. In the years following, they would also bring Sazerac Cognac, which would eventually be used for the Sazerac Cocktail, a drink that’s since become synonymous with the celebratory nature of New Orleans.

But even as New Orleans began to put its own spin on the holiday, we still took cues from France, with elaborate galas modeled after those held in Versailles and the Opera de Paris. Where society’s strict expectations were left at the door, as attendees donned festive masks and danced the night away.

All good things must come to an end, and for this first iteration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, that took the form of the Spanish takeover of the city in the 18th century. Spanish Governors outlawed the celebrations, but the spirit of Carnival never truly died.

In 1827, after visiting Paris, a group of students brought the celebration back to the streets of New Orleans, and ten years later, the first recorded Mardi Gras parade took place. And the rest, as they say, is history.

New Orleans may not have been the first city to celebrate Mardi Gras, but it’s certainly the one that does it with the most panache. And Sazerac is a proud part of it all. With 400 years of French heritage and counting, we invite you to join us as we raise a glass to Mardi Gras.




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.