New Orleans-based Sazerac Company is stepping up to meet the nation’s need for hand sanitizer on an “industrial scale,” according to a news release. The company, headquartered in a recently restored historic building on Canal Street, began making hand sanitizer on March 27 at its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Kentucky, and plans to ramp up production at other plants across the country.
“We have seen the great need for hand sanitizer from industries across the board — many of these organizations are desperate, as supplies have dwindled,” Matt Maimone, Sazerac’s chief operating officer, said in the news release. “We are adding production capacity to cope with the massive industrial demand. We have received requests to date for over five million bottles of sanitizer, which we are prepared to meet, and possibly more, across our sites in North America.”
Sazerac Company is headquartered in a 19th-century Italianate building at the corner of Magazine and Canal streets. The property houses a state-of-the-art facility that elegantly blends historic architecture with multimedia exhibits celebrating New Orleans’ storied cocktail culture, according to a 2019 article in Preservation in Print. The facility is a few blocks from the site of the original Sazerac House, a French Quarter coffee shop that opened in 1852 and popularized a version of the cocktail made with brandy, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters.
Now the Sazerac Company is filling a very 21st century need: making hand sanitizer. “A very well deserved shout-out goes to our workforce who have stepped up to meet this significant challenge in addition to continuing to produce many of the world’s best whiskeys and spirits; their desire to contribute to helping those in need has been inspiring and very much appreciated,” Maimone said in the press release.
Susan Langenhennig is PRC’s Director of Communications and the editor of Preservation in Print.