The Sazerac is one of America’s oldest cocktails. In fact, in 2008, an amendment was passed making it the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans. Give it a try this Mardis Gras or at your next cocktail party. Sipping is recommended, this is one stiff drink!
The Sazerac Cocktail
History: In the 1830s, Antoine Peychaud, an apothecary and Creole immigrant, ran a pharmacy on the French Quarter’s Royal Street. Antoine parlayed his experience into entertaining/treating his friends through mixing brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters (known today as Peychaud’s bitters). Peychaud’s concoction was later served at the Sazerac Coffee House and was named the Sazerac. The Sazerac Cocktail has evolved since it’s original creation, but remains in spirit one of America’s oldest cocktails.
- In the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the Sazerac cocktail is Thomas Benjamin’s drink of choice, and the first alcoholic beverage that Benjamin consumed.
- Originally, the Sazerac was served in an egg cup called a coquetier.
Sazerac Cocktail Recipe - Recipe from Esquire Magazine
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 1/2 ounces rye whisky
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- lemon peel
Glass Type: old-fashioned glass
In an Old-Fashioned glass (not a mixing glass; it’s part of the ritual), muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water. Add several small ice cubes and the rye whiskey,* the Peychaud’s bitters, and the Angostura bitters.**
Stir well and strain into a second, chilled, Old-Fashioned glass in which you have rolled around a few drops of absinthe (no substitute really works, but you can try either a mix of Pernod and green Chartreuse, or Absente) until its inside is thoroughly coated, pouring off the excess. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel (some insist that this be squeezed over the drink and discarded; Handy wasn’t so picky).
* Use the good stuff, if you can find it: Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye (13 years old), or Sazerac Rye (18 years old).
** Optional. It’s not in the original recipe, but it’s traditional nonetheless, and it’s not bad.