Housed in a newly restored historic building at Canal and Magazine streets in the French Quarter, the Sazerac House opened on October 2, 2019 with a gleaming vista of white tile, cast iron and woodwork the color of bourbon. The six-story building includes 3-story interactive museum, catering and event space, office space and a fully functional production facility for whiskey and bitters. The 48,000-square foot building took three years to renovate by Trampolin Peer Architects, and expects 200,000 visitors annually.
Messina’s Catering & Events is honored to be chosen as one of only four preferred caterers for the new event space. Messina’s experienced bartenders, professional servers and attendants are trained to serve Sazerac House classic drink cocktails as per Sazerac standards. Each cocktail is true to the classic Sazerac-brand tradition.
About the Sazerac House
The Sazerac House is an immersive, spirited experience that celebrates the New Orleans cocktail culture in a completely restored historic building. It also brings the first whiskey distillery to downtown New Orleans. The location (at the intersection of Canal and Magazine streets) is 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.
Sazerac is one of the oldest family-owned, privately held distillers. The company, which has been based in New Orleans since 1850, has about 60 employees and is also based at the new Sazerac House.
Guests to the Sazerac House can enjoy complimentary self-guided tours, interactive cocktail exhibits and exclusive spirit tastings. Cutting-edge immersive exhibit technology allows guests to take a seat at a simulation of the original Sazerac House café tables, chat with virtual New Orleans bartenders about their signature drink recipes and learn how to build drinks based on their favorite flavor profiles. Guests can also take part in the production of Peychaud’s Bitters and Sazerac Rye Whiskey. The venue offers periodic events such as food and whiskey pairings as well as live demonstrations.
Charm and Character
The home of the Sazerac House is an 1850-era building in downtown New Orleans, which had sat vacant for more than three decades. The building was completely revitalized and restored. Wood floors, high ceilings, oversized windows and ornate support columns are among the building’s architectural details. Contractors worked to preserve as many of the original design elements as possible. The building’s façade had been rebuilt at some point in the building’s history, but had worn down over time. Architects were able to take historic photos of the buildings and recreate some of the details and elements original to the structures. The result is an artfully restored, architecturally stunning space perfect for private catering events.
Catering & Event Space
The fourth floor of the Sazerac House features a state-of-the-art catering and event space called the Imperial Cabinet Saloon. This 3,500 square foot space comes complete with incredible views of Canal and Magazine Streets. The room features an 18-foot long Victorian era antique carved oak bar, and an open concept layout, making it ideal for private events of up to 300 people. The state-of-the-art audio-visual components include three screens and projectors along with an integrated sound system. Private catered events can include tastes of the spirits portfolio of the Sazerac Company with cocktail experts. The space also includes an on-site prep kitchen, making it a perfect location for catered events.
The Imperial Cabinet Saloon at the Sazerac House was named for Henry Ramos’ bar, which was an elite saloon in the late 1800’s. The bar had strict codes that upheld Ramos’ well-known beliefs and utmost character. He refused to serve guests that had over-imbibed and kept hours that respected church/mass times, standing in stark contrast to the majority of rough and tumble bars and saloons of its era. It was at The Imperial Cabinet Saloon that the Ramos Gin Fizz earned its well-loved reputation and cemented its status as a quintessential New Orleans cocktail.
Messina’s In Closing
Messina’s is a full service catering company that serves as the exclusive caterer to seven elite venues throughout the New Orleans area. Those venues include The Rooftop on Basin, Messina’s at the Terminal (located at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport, which was recently named most beautiful place to get married in New Orleans), the Pontchartrain Center, and the Jefferson Performing Arts Center among others. Besides the Sazerac House, we are also the preferred caterer at more than 15 venues throughout the area. Messina’s Catering & Events has been providing high-quality catering services for guests in the New Orleans area for more than 58 years. We are proud to have been recently voted best caterer for the third year in a row by New Orleans CityBusiness readers.