Celebration Creates New Orleans’ Rum History
With Louisiana’s native sugarcane agriculture industry and the city’s proximity to the traditional Caribbean rum economies, one might think that rum distilling would be a deeply entrenched industry here. However, history shows that the New Orleans rum story didn’t start until 1995, when artist James Michalopoulos founded Celebration Distillation, makers of Old New Orleans Rum. Celebration was also the first distillery in the country to produce rum.
“When we first opened Old New Orleans there were no longer any rum makers in the United States,” Michalopoulos said. “We knew that we would enjoy the challenge of making a great rum even if it was economically challenging.”
Celebration hasn’t been resting on its laurels. Its 20th anniversary King Creole rum won the highest honors in North America from the American Beverage Tasting Institute, which lauded the rum as the best in the United States. The Cajun spiced rum is a fixture on cocktail lists at bars all over town, and the distillery itself is a great visitor attraction with tours every day and courtesy shuttles available from the Quarter.