Seven Three Distilling Co.
Seven Three Distilling Co. has an eye on history, an affinity for the community and a commitment to making fine spirits. The operation opened in early 2017 in Tremé, the historic New Orleans neighborhood often referred to as “the birthplace of jazz.” This cluster of old Creole cottages and small businesses next to the French Quarter is a must-see for any visitor interested in old New Orleans charm and its musical legacy.
With such deep, rich history surrounding Seven Three’s headquarters, company co-founder Eileen Bivalacqua and her team decided to make the neighborhood itself part of the distillery-touring experience.
"Ours is not like your average distillery tour, where you see the distillation area, get an overview of the process, and end with a tasting," Bivalacqua says. "Although tour guests do get to see the distillation process and taste our sprits throughout the tour, we've focused on being an attraction. We worked with local historians to develop a tour that touches on the history of Treme and Storyville that includes lots of fun facts and tidbits that surprise most visitors, including locals."
That community-mindedness extends to Seven Three’s name — a nod to New Orleans’ 73 neighborhoods — as well as the liquors the company produces. You could almost draw a map of the city based on these labels. A variety of alliteratively named spirits are in the lineup, and include Bywater Bourbon, Gentilly Gin, Marigny Moonshine, St. Roch Vodka and Black Pearl Rum.
The Irish Channel Whiskey is especially close to Bivalacqua’s heart. It’s a blend of imported Irish and Kentucky whiskeys, aged in cognac casks. “We live in the Irish Channel and we love Irish whiskey,” Bivalacqua says, referring to the historic Uptown neighborhood near the Mississippi River. “The blending we’re doing here is pretty original.”
The liquors' names aren't the only local tie-ins. There are the ingredients themselves. Every sip of Marigny Moonshine contains rice from Opelousas. Wheat and corn used in Bywater Bourbon comes from Schexnayder Farm in the West Baton Rouge Parish village of Erwinvile, and Seven Three's Black Pearl Rum contains sugar from Labadieville, Louisiana.
Take a virtual tour of Louisiana’s flavors in Seven Three’s tasting room after your guided tour through New Orleans history, which you can set up by emailing [email protected] or calling (504) 265-8545.
You can also visit the distillery without taking the tour. Kick back with a craft cocktail at Seven Three’s huge copper-topped horseshoe shaped bar, and pick up a souvenir from the distillery’s gift store, filled with New Orleans photos and books. It’s all part of the experience that Bivalacqua and her partners hope will inspire visitors to fall in love with New Orleans as much as they have. As she says succinctly, “We just love showcasing our awesome city.”