NEW ORLEANS — Happy Raptor Distilling (1512 Carondelet St.) is proud to announce the release of its newest infused rum, 504King Cake. Made with 100 percent Louisiana molasses, 504King Cake begins as a flavorful white rum handcrafted in Happy Raptor’s Central City distillery and infused with real pecans, hand-cut orange peel, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks for several days. Every bottle is filtered, bottled, and labeled by hand. Notably, 504King Cake contains no artificial ingredients, unnecessary added sweetening, or syrups. In keeping with king cake tradition, the new infusion is a limited, seasonal release for carnival.
“Happy Raptor Distilling is committed to creating premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy,” said co-founder and CEO Mark Taliancich. “We try and stay true to this in every decision we make – from the methods we use to handcraft our rum to our label design to the feeling you get when you walk in our space. We’re very proud of 504King Cake because it is absolutely delicious and stays true to our mission.”
Happy Raptor will celebrate the new release with a series of socially-distant events and programming through Mardi Gras day – Raptor Gras 2021 – in partnership with numerous local artists, vendors, and food pop-ups, as well as a bicycle tour of decorated house floats hosted by locally-founded tour company Paved Paradise. In addition, Happy Raptor is partnering with the Krewe of House Floats’ Central City sub-krewe as a donation drop-off location benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank. While Happy Raptor remains closed for indoor seating, all events are designed to allow guests to enjoy the distillery’s limited patio and sidewalk seating or grab their goodies and pre-batched cocktails to go (available in 2-serving and 4-serving containers).
“We cancelled any plans for a grand opening, and we’d dreamed of a block party for our one-year anniversary,” said co-founder and chief brand officer Meagen Moreland-Taliancich. “We owe our company’s survival this year to the New Orleans community. We crafted this rum thoughtfully as a celebration of the neighbors and partners who pulled us through and kept our spirits going this year.”
Happy Raptor opened its doors on February 14, 2020 only hours before the first uptown Mardi Gras parade, and one month before the pandemic shut down businesses in Orleans parish. In its first year in business, Happy Raptor partnered with over 20 nonprofit organizations and donated over $10,000 worth of funds, hand sanitizer, and goods back to the local community. On January 28, 2021, they were awarded the Culture Award by Love Your City NOLA for their support of local artists and vendors.
“As a small distillery, we strongly believe that New Orleans businesses have a responsibility to support each other. We are lucky to live in a city where our community as a whole understands the value of partnership and collaboration,” said co-founder and COO Peter Rivera. “It impacts our success at every stage of our production process, even down to the neighbors who bring us local bananas for our 504Bananas Foster infusion.”
Bottles of 504King Cake are available for purchase in the Happy Raptor tasting room for $39 plus tax and are currently being distributed to a selection of local grocery and liquor stores throughout the greater New Orleans area. As part of the inaugural batch, every bottle of 504King Cake sold in the tasting room will include a commemorative label while supplies last.
The new release joins Happy Raptor’s signature line of infused rums – 504Rum – which includes 504Hibiscus, 504Bananas Foster, 504Silver, and 504Gold. For Happy Raptor’s hours of operation, more information on the 504King Cake release, Raptor Gras 2021 events, the cocktail menu, and stores that currently sell 504Rum products, visit www.happyraptor.com or follow the distillery @504Rum on Facebook and Instagram.