A thousand liters of NOLA Distilling’s gin, lined up in unlabeled bottles, will never see the light of day. Ditto for the dozens of barrels of spirits aging to become brandy or whiskey. The same goes for the absinthe that the distillers were developing and tasting. The bank has decreed that everything must shut down — and today, April 13, is the distillery’s final day in business.
Bar manager Niki Sideris presided over a parade of solemn drinkers and tasting room regulars yesterday afternoon, just after dropping the bad news on Facebook.
It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you all we are closing our doors, effective tomorrow, Friday, April 13th.
Thank you all so much for supporting us. We are really proud of the team we built, the products that we put out, and those we were developing, but unfortunately we weren’t quite able to make it work.
Please come by for one last drink, or to pick up a bottle (or a case!) of your favorite spirit before they are no longer available.
The closure seemed sudden because owner Kirk Coco tried to keep the financing issues tightly under wraps while he searched for new investors, Sideris told Eater. He was optimistic until the very end that something would come through and save the business.
Opened in December 2016, the distillery has supplied gallon jugs of frozen daiqs during parade days, hosted yoga classes, and won awards for both its vodkas. Coco and his team took great pride in using locally sourced raw materials - sweet potatoes from Avoyelles Parish for vodka, Louisiana molasses for rum, cold brew coffee from French Truck Coffee for the liqueur, and cayenne peppers grown in NOCCA’s Press Street Gardens.
Visitors to the distillery also enjoyed the space itself: a well-loved tasting room, beautifully renovated space, and high-end equipment on view (those copper column stills, y’all).
NOLA Distilling is open all day today — Friday, April 13 — from noon until 10 p.m. Frozen daiqs will be $5 (as it has always been on “five dollar frozen Friday”) and the bartenders have a lot of booze and mixers to get through. They make a variety of classic cocktails (mojito, white/black Russians, Moscow Mule) as well as original creations that showcase the distillery’s vodka, pepper vodka, Navy-proof clear rum, and coffee liqueur.
Bottles of award-winning plain and cayenne pepper vodka are $27.27 and $30, respectively; French Truck collaboration Coffee Cruiser coffee liqueur is $27.27; and the Navy-proof style rum is $22.73. (All prices are exclusive of tax.)
Head over, tip generously, grab a bottle to remember, and pour a splash out in memory of the distillery.
The distillery is located at 3715 Tchoupitoulas.
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