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Sazerac -- a New Orleans classic

New Orleans is a unique city, and the Sazerac is a unique cocktail. It is my go to drink every time I am in New Orleans.  Fortunately the cocktail renaissance over the last few years has revived the drink’s popularity outside of New Orleans, so I’m less likely to receive a blank stare from a bartender when I order one.  After trying a bunch of versions, this is the one I make at home:

Milton from Office Space prefers a Sazerac to a red Swingline stapler
Milton from Office Space prefers a Sazerac to a red Swingline stapler

2 ounces rye whiskey
Teaspoon of absinthe
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
¼ to ½ ounce super simple syrup

Put the absinthe in a chilled glass, swirl it around so you coat the inside of the glass.  Discard the remaining absinthe.  Add the rye, bitters, and simple syrup, then stir.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

Originally the Sazerac used cognac instead of rye.  If you don’t want to go really old school, use rye and cognac to make a Vieux Nouveau Sazerac. Thanks to Gaby, a bartender at my favorite local watering hole, I learned another variation – use rye, but instead of using all Peychaud’s bitters, use an equal amount of Peychaud’s and orange bitters.  It took me a long time to figure out why her Sazeracs are liquid magic.



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