A CLASSIC SAZERAC (1 drink)
In 2008 the Louisiana legislature voted to make the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans. Legend has it that Antoine Amedee Peychaud, a Creole apothecary from Saint-Dominique (now Haiti), invented the drink. When he later immigrated to New Orleans, the pharmacist marketed the mixture of his namesake bitters with water, brandy and sugar as a cure for whatever ailed you. The combination grew in popularity until perfectly healthy people began to appear at Peychaud’s shop in search of a refill.
William T. Boothby’s 1908 cocktail manual, The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them, confirms that the drink eventually transitioned from brandy to a rye whiskey base. It also gained an absinthe “rinse” of the glass to enhance the anise flavor of Peychaud’s bitters. If you’re lacking absinthe, a similar pastis like Ricard or Pernod can be substituted.
¼ ounce absinthe, or a similar pastis like Ricard or Pernod
2 ounces rye whiskey (you can substitute brandy)
¼ ounce simple syrup
4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
lemon twist (for garnish)
1. Pour the absinthe into a chilled rocks glass. Swirl to coat the interior, then discard the excess liquor.
2. In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the whiskey, simple syrup and bitters. Stir until well chilled, 30 to 40 seconds. Strain into absinthe-rinsed glass (without ice), garnish with lemon twist and serve neat.
adapted from Dylan Garret, Wine Enthusiast