Since Katie Darling took over as CEO of James Michalopoulas' Celebration Distillation--makers of Old New Orleans Rum and Gingeroo--seven months ago, she's hit the ground running. With expansions, product launches, and partnerships on the horizon, Darling is quickly becoming one of the biggest movers and shakers in New Orleans' booze industry and has brought a mixologist's creativity and charm to the gig. Scroll through the gallery as Darling talks about what lies in store for the distillery, located in a 150 year old cotton mill at 2815 Frenchmen, which by the way, accomplishes every part of their process in-house from fermentation to label design to bottling.
Tours are offered three times a day with rum tastings (and Gingeroo on tap). Also, if you mention that you like them on Facebook, you'll get an extra shot of rum. Please note that the distillery will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Or find Old New Orleans Rum tonight at Tales of The Toddy, and an overview of their products and 2015 launches, courtesy of Darling, below.
Old New Orleans Cajun Spice: "We sell so much during the holidays for baking and cooking."
Old New Orleans Amber Rum: We let it sit in Makers Mark barrels for three years, so it has that whiskey finish, but also a sweet molasses that really shines through. That's really nice on the rocks, or in an Old Fashioned. I think the Amber is our best egg nog rum."
Old New Orleans Crystal Rum: It's go a little bit of a funk to it. It stands out. It's the true characterization of our rum, where our artinisinal rum making comes through. I personall love orgeat, lime juice, and this rum. A rum orgeat swizzle with crushed ice in a tall glass."
Gingeroo: "This is a drink I really want Louisiana to own and be proud of. We are the birth place of Gingeroo. My husband is addicted. He's a chef and he makes Gingeroo glazed ribs."
Available on tap at distillery. They also do a Partly Cloudy with a shot of amber rum on top over ice. Gingeroo can also be served hot with a cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge as a winter-time drink.
As for Old New Orleans Ten Year Rum: "There's still a few bottles here and there. They sell for about $100 each."
Products Launching in 2015
Vodka: "We've spent a year building a still, and testing product. We're working on branding right now, and are planning to launch it in May. It's going to be made from 100% molasses."
Anniversary Blend: "Launching in July."
Coconut Rum: "Our coconut rum is fresh and dry. Something you could sip on the beach all day. We're hoping to launch this next December. Beachbum Berry tasted it and loved it. Having his support and seal of approval means a lot to us."