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:
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.