The Sazerac Cocktail image

The Sazerac Cocktail

In Cocktails by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

The Sazerac Cocktail image

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from our friends at D.W. Alexander in Toronto. Rumor has it they make a pretty killer Sazerac. Stop by and pay them a visit if you’re in the area.

Although the first cocktails were invented by British, they attained global popularity when they first appeared in United States. Like many other things, they are susceptible to trend. So, it happened that some of the cocktails, which enjoyed great popularity in the past, are no longer available. Similarly to that, some of the cocktails which vanished, reappeared and grew in popularity. One such drink is Sazerac.

This beverage is regarded as one of the first American cocktails. It was invented by Antoine Peychaud in 1838. As the story goes, he was selling Peychaud’s Bitters in his pharmacy. The drugstore was famous all over New Orleans because of this homemade recipe. At that time, people used different cocktails and alcohol to cure various diseases. On one occasion, Antoine presented his cocktail made from cognac and Peychaud’s bitter to his friends. It was an instant hit. From 1850 the drink was served under the name Sazerac, which was the name of cognac that was part of mixture. Since 1873, rye whiskey replaced the cognac and absinthe was added. Although Sazerac was rarely served in bars during 20th century, it is slowly becoming one of the most popular cocktails in the world.

The original Sazerac contains:

  • 1.5 ounces of Sazerac Rye Whiskey
  • 3 dashes of Peyhaud’s Bitters
  • 0.25 ounce of Herbsaint
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 lemon peel

The cocktail is traditionally made by using two glasses. You should put ice in first and wait for it to chill. Meanwhile, put the sugar cube in the second glass, pour bitters over it and crush the cube. After that, pour whiskey and ice over sugar. Next, remove the ice from the first glass and coat it with absinthe. Now, take the mix from the second glass and pour it into the first glass containing absinthe. Lastly, squeeze the lemon over the glass and afterwards, put lemon peel inside.

Interesting thing about these ingredients is that they are all made by Sazerac Company. Although bitters and whiskey can be easily replaced, Herbsaint is quite a problem because of its specific anise taste. Best substitution would be Pernod or Anisette although Herbsaint is much stronger than either one of these two drinks. In some cases, you can even use cognac instead of rye whiskey, if you wish a bit lighter taste. Have in mind that this cocktail was originally made out of cognac, so you can’t make any mistake by using it.

As for the taste, Sazerac is dominated by rye whiskey. Of course, this particular type of whiskey is a bit spicier. Cocktail has certain sweetness, bolstered by absinthe inside. It is recommended that you sip it for maximum pleasure.

Like any other popular cocktail, Sazerac has many different variations. For example, the bartenders in D.W. Alexander, put toasted nutmeg as an ingredient. However, the most popular variation is putting cognac instead of the whiskey like in the original recipe.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.

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