Happy Raptor Distilling Launches 504Bananas Foster Rum
NEW ORLEANS —Happy Raptor Distilling LLC has announced the release of its new 504Bananas Foster rum. Inspired by the iconic New Orleans dessert, 504Bananas Foster is handcrafted in the Crescent City at the distillery’s Central City location. Created from 100% Louisiana molasses, Happy Raptor’s newest rum features an infusion of real banana, cinnamon, vanilla and spices and includes no artificial ingredients.
“We are so proud to introduce this product in time for the holidays,” said company co-founder Meagen Moreland-Taliancich. “Crafting a rum inspired by bananas foster has been a dream of ours for a long time, and we intended to release it much sooner. Of course, the coronavirus shutdown had other plans for us. Despite the obstacles we encountered, this rum is a true product of New Orleans made with love and deep appreciation for our community.”
504Bananas Foster was originally unveiled for tastings and cocktails (but not for purchase) during Mardi Gras 2020 when Happy Raptor opened its doors for the first time. One month later, the pandemic shut down bars and tasting rooms across the state and created significant obstacles to the product’s development.
“504Bananas Foster is intended to draw upon the nostalgia of a New Orleans tradition without a syrupy sweet taste or unnecessary additives,” said company co-founder Peter Rivera. “Finding the right balance of sweetness, spice, and banana was difficult, but I think we’ve hit on something special. In addition to seasonal drinks like hot cocoa or eggnog, the rum works beautifully in a variety of cocktails such as a traditional daiquiri or an old-fashioned, and we’ve been dreaming up new ways to use it in cooking and baking.”
Happy Raptor is celebrating the product launch with a weekend of socially distanced pop-ups and collaborations. On Thursday evening, the distillery is partnering with the Woodlands Conservancy for a digital tour and cocktail-making fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit. Throughout the weekend, the distillery will be joined by specialty macaron artist Violet Sprinkles for bananas foster-themed treats. Happy Raptor will also welcome Honduran gourmet popsicle maker Pilones de la Abuela for a rum and popsicle pairing and showcase their boozy collab, Rum Raisin. On Saturday, burger and fry pop-up Bub’s Burgers will set up for the distillery’s first official food pop-up. Guests can enjoy limited seating on the distillery’s patio or take their orders to go.
“We are a community-focused distillery first and foremost,” says co-founder and distiller Mark Taliancich. “A huge part of our survival during coronavirus has been thanks to the support of our neighbors, partnership with krewes and nonprofits, and the production of hand sanitizer, of which we donated almost $5,000 worth. We are extremely lucky to be here.”
Happy Raptor specializes in a Caribbean style of infused rums – known as rhum arrangé – in which a white rum is infused with a variety of citrus, botanicals, or spices to create a flavor without unnecessary or artificial additives. 504Bananas Foster rum is the most extensive infusion to date, each batch taking over a month and a half to infuse.
The new rum is currently available for purchase in the Happy Raptor tasting room at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Carondelet Street. It will reach store shelves in the coming days.