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I wrote this piece, about spontaneously spending el Día de los Muertos with a family in Oaxaca, several years ago; it’s based on an experience...
What: In your travels about town, keep an eye out for Old New Orleans Rum, made from Louisiana molasses by Celebration Distillation, the oldest premium rum distillery in the United States. Of the three types available—Crystal, a light-bodied white rum; Amber, a three-year medium-bodied blend of three rums; and Cajun Spice, a rum blend with cayenne and cinnamon—Cajun Spice is most distinctly NOLA, and great for sipping. (There’s also a 10-year special-edition rum that’s available only at the distillery, as well as Gingeroo, a ready-to-drink bottled cocktail made with Crystal rum, fresh ginger soda, and Louisiana sugarcane.)
Where: The distillery at 2815 Frenchmen St. (map) offers 45-minute tours and tastings ($10) six days a week (see below); it’s not walking distance from the French Quarter, but they offer a few complimentary transportation pickups on weekdays from that area (check website for details). Alternatively, look for these rums in bars, or check out a local liquor store, like Italian-owned Vieux Carré Wine & Spirits (504-568-9463; 422 Chartres St., map) in the French Quarter: All three rums are usually available for purchase there, and the staff may even offer you a free taste of one from behind the counter.
When: Distillery tour hours: Mon-Fri, noon, 2pm & 4pm; Sat, 2pm & 4pm. Call ahead (504-945-9400) to confirm a tour before you arrive. Vieuz Carré hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-9pm
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