Dave is awesome at making cocktails. I think it’s the scientist in him that makes him geek out about measurements, consistency, and getting things perfectly balanced.
And I, forever chaotic, can’t be bothered to learn how to make cocktails correctly, but will always be a very happy recipient of his creations. And recently I decided I would also be the happy (drunk?) photographer.
And this particular classic cocktail, The Sazerac, is one of our favorites.
The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails in existence and it was created in New Orleans using French Sazerac brandy and the bitters from a local apothecary named Peychaud back in the mid-1800s. Eventually the French brandy came to be replaced with American Rye Whiskey and the combination of Rye, Peychaud’s, and Absinthe is the flavor profile of the Sazerac that we all have come to know and love.
While today we consider any mixed drink with liquor a “cocktail” the original definition of the word was referencing a heady drink of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar. To give you an idea, the classic cocktails like the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned, and a Manhattan, to name a few, still retain this type of recipe.
So I’m including here, not a lengthy post, but a step-by-step instructional on how to make one of these glorious classics- the Sazerac.
The Sazerac that will let us imagine we’re on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in the late 1800s enjoying all the sights, sounds, and food. (For me, I’ll just pretend I’m on my honeymoon there with Rhett Butler.. sorry Dave). Step 1: Chill your glass with ice (or put it in the freezer for about a half an hour).
Step 2: Muddle a sugar cube with 4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and just a drop or 2 of water, until the sugar is dissolved into solution.Step 3: Add the Rye Whiskey.Step 4: Add ice and stir.Step 5: Discard the ice from your chilled glass, and pour in a splash of absinthe. Swirl the absinthe all around the glass and pour the rest out.Step 6: Strain the whiskey mixture into your serving glass.
Step 7: Cut a swath of lemon peel (be careful to avoid the rind) and express the oils over the glass.
Classic Cocktails: The Sazerac
- 1 sugar cube
- 4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- Splash of Water
- 2 oz Rye Whiskey
- A splash of Absinthe
- 1 lemon peel swath
- Chill a short tumbler (an old fashioned glass) in the freezer or by adding ice and letting it sit for a few minutes.
- In a large tumbler (mixing glass), add a sugar cube, a splash of water, and 4 dashes of Peychaud's bitters.
- Using a muddler, mash the sugar cube until it dissolves into solution.
- Next add the Rye Whiskey and a few ice cubes.
- Toss the ice from your short tumbler and add a splash of absinthe.
- Swirl the glass until the interior is fully coated with absinthe and then discard any remaining liquid.
- Strain the whiskey into your serving glass.
- Express the oils from your lemon peel over the glass (you want some of the oils to land on the liquid), and then run the peel along the rim of the glass.
- Discard the lemon peel and serve.