The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails on record – and supposedly the first cocktail invented in America. It came into being in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1830’s, and was originally made with cognac and Peychaud bitters (created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud). The Peychaud bitters are still a key ingredient, but the most common preparation of the cocktail is now with rye rather than cognac (even though our friend @halw likes to mess with bartenders by ordering it with cognac anyway.)
I came late to the Sazerac, but was introduced to it by another friend, @livethelushlife, who counts the Sazerac among her absolute favorite cocktails. And it really came to life for me when I had the chance to sample the cocktail in its native environment – New Orleans – where the Sazerac is still an institution.
The combination of rye, sugar, and bitters (in an absinthe or Herbsaint-rinsed glass) makes for a smooth drink that’s reminiscent of The Old Fashioned, but with a unique quality all its own, and definitely worth a try!
Here’s what you’re going to need:
3/4oz simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud bitters
1/4oz absinthe or Herbsaint to rinse the glass
Lemon peel for garnish
Add a small amount (1/4oz or less) to your chilled rocks glass. Rotate the glass on its side just to coat the inside of the glass, then discard the excess. Strain the cocktail into the rocks glass, and garnish with a lemon twist. The Sazerac is served neat, so no ice in the glass is required.
In addition to The Old Fashioned, the Sazerac has become one of my favorite “brown spirit” cocktails. I encourage you to give it a try!