Welcome welcome! Let’s talk about one of the more classic of classic cocktails, a true old timer, the Sazerac. A New Orleans native and still a staple of epic proportions, this cocktail has withstood the test of time!
Herbaceous and complex thanks to the Peychaud's with licorice notes from the absinthe rinse in the glass and sweeter more caramel notes from sugar and rye.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves. If you don’t know what they are let’s tell you what’s in one.
The modern recipe calls for just four ingredients, some of them branded because they have a company to run but it’s just the four classic things:
A sugar cube
Absinthe (Herbsaint will be explained)
A brief history
The Sazerac as we know it today was most likely born at the Sazerac Coffee House in the late 19th century. Bartenders there served a house cocktail made with Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe, sugar, and Cognac. The recipe might still call for Cognac if it wasn’t for terrible luck for grapes.
In the 1870s, a terrible blight wiped out Europe’s grape vines. (The same blight that helped Scotch get a come up, remember?)
When French cognac became a rarity in the United States, Sazerac’s bartenders substituted American rye whiskey and the drink you should have in your hand when you order a Sazerac from a knowledgeable barkeep will most likely be a rye.
Today, The official Sazerac recipe calls for Herbsaint instead of the historical absinthe recipe. Herbe Sainte was a New Orleans term for wormwood. Traditionalists will argue over which to use. You should definitely try both and see the difference.
Same goes for the official whiskey. In 2000 the official recipe of the Sazerac Company was again altered to use Sazerac (brand) Straight Kentucky Rye Whiskey. Or Buffalo Trace bourbon.
That’s just branding as Buffalo Trace distillery owns Sazerac brand and company. Decide for yourself which Whiskey or Bourbon you like in your cocktail. Even cognac for that matter!
Peychaud’s Bitters were created in New Orleans around 1830 by the Haitian apothecary Antoine Amédée Peychaud.
With the nights getting hotter and more humid (well at least in New Orleans maybe not in Los Angeles this time of year) its the perfect time of year to enjoy a Sazerac for the first or not the first time.
Let us know if you tried a different rye or bitters or absinthe combo. Thanks for reading and as always...