Cocktail Recipe: The Sazerac Two Ways

Cocktail Recipe: The Sazerac Two Ways

Cocktail Recipe: The Sazerac Two Ways

The official cocktail of New Orleans since 2008, the Sazerac is a classic drink to whip up at the end of a long day or start of a meal as an aperitif. As if an Old Fashioned doused with the color of the city, the cocktail is typically made with Sazerac's spicy rye whiskey, Peychaud bitters, sugar, and the glass is rinsed with absinthe (locally Herbsaint) for a hint of anise, garnished with lemon.

Rumor has it the drink was a Sazerac House specialty in the late 1800s, but the first published reference to a Sazerac cocktail was in 1899 when bartenders started giving names to their recipes. Many believe that the original cocktail was made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils, a famous brandy at the time.

Thanks to the speed bump that was Phylloxera, a small pest which ravaged vineyards worldwide in the late 1800s, bartenders switched from brandy to rye whiskey since it was more readily available. Prohibition from 1920 to 1933 also put a pause on the liquor business, but soon after it was lifted residents of New Orleans started drinking the cocktail again with fervor.

As much as we love a good traditional Sazerac, we live in Sonoma County with a number of talented distillers and purveyors on our front door. Therefore today we present the Sazerac cocktail recipe in two ways: The NOLA version and Sonoma County version. Try them both and let us know what you think!

THE NOLA-RAC

Ingredients: 

  • Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey ($26.99)
  • Peychaud's Aromatic Cocktail Bitters ($5.99)
  • Herbsaint ($31.99)

Directions: 

  1. Fill an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.
  2. In a second glass, place a sugar cube and add three dashes of bitters, mashing them together.
  3. Add 1 1/2 oz. of whiskey to the bitters and sugar, then pour the ice from the first glass into the mixture.
  4. In the now empty Old-Fashioned glass, pour 1/4 oz. Herbsaint and roll to coat glass.
  5. Toss the remaining Herbsaint and pour the mixture into the coated glass.
  6. Garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy!

THE SONOMA-RAC

Ingredients: 

  • Redwood Empire Emerald Giant Rye Whiskey ($29.99)
  • King Floyd's Aromatic Bitters ($14.99)
  • Fellows & Foragers Absinthe ($43.99)

Directions: 

  1. Fill an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.
  2. In a second glass, place a sugar cube and add three dashes of bitters, mashing them together.
  3. Add 1 1/2 oz. of whiskey to the bitters and sugar, then pour the ice from the first glass into the mixture.
  4. In the now empty Old-Fashioned glass, pour 1/4 oz. absinthe and roll to coat glass.
  5. Toss the remaining absinthe and pour the mixture into the coated glass.
  6. Garnish with a lemon peel and enjoy!

Need a demo? Check out this video from a local bartender below!

Bartender: Chris Hannah of New Orleans' Jewel of the South
Source: The Daily Advertiser, Todd A. Price, The American South

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