Sazerac Cocktail Recipe From New Orleans

Drinkers looking for a cocktail that has quite a bit of history will love everything about the Sazerac, one of the world’s oldest cocktails.

Sazerac Cocktail History

In the 1830s Antoine Peychaud opened up his own apothecary shop in New Orleans. There he sold his own special brand of bitters that are still sold to this day as Peychaud’s Bitters.

In the 1800s bitters were used for good health and to promote digestion. Peychaud would mix them in with Brandy to help heal the ailments of his customers and friends. In the 1850’s a friend of Peychaud named Sewell Taylor opened up a coffee house which sold a lot more than just coffee. He called it Sazerac Coffee House after the type of Brandy that was exclusively imported and sold by Taylor.

The house drink was the bitters from Mr. Peychaud mixed with the Sazerac Brandy which is how the drink got its name. Years later though ownership of the bar changed and the main ingredient changed from Brandy to rye whiskey and even Absinthe was added as an ingredient.

A modern Sazerac recipe from New Orleans looks like this:

  • 1/2 tsp Pernod (or other Absinthe substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash Peychaud bitters
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey

You will want to coat the glass with your Absinthe substitute and then pour out the majority of what remains. Feel free to save the remainder in another glass to use again for your next drink. Then add your bitters and syrup. Add in your whiskey and maybe even a twist of lemon peel if it fits your taste.

Most drinkers won’t have access to real Absinthe. However, the substitute will still do a good job. What you are left with is a contemplative drink with several layers that make it worth drinking slow.

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