- Base Spirit Rye
- Preparation Stirred
- Flavor Boozy
- Served On the Rocks
Many date the drink’s existence to pre-Civil War New Orleans, but not much of the recipe has changed in the last two hundred years. Originally, the cocktail was prepared using cognac rather than rye whiskey, but the Phylloxera invasion of the 1870’s destroyed much of the cognac vines in Europe. The basic composition of the drink has persisted through the centuries—Peychaud Bitters, sugar, absinthe or Herbsaint, and a lemon twist, all in an old-fashioned glass.
According to Neal Bodenheimer of NOLA’s Cure, the formula for the perfect Sazerac requires a solid understanding of flavors.
“It’s the ratio of bitters to sugar, you have to make sure it’s in accordance with the right ounceage of rye whiskey with the right proof, and controlling the dilution based on that proof,” Bodenheimer said.
The Sazerac is the quintessential New Orleans drink, Bodenheimer says, because, “In New Orleans, we’re preservationists. Because we hang on to our history, we were able to preserve the Sazerac, and that’s why it’s important to us, it connects us to our past.”
- Rinse/roll one old fashioned glass with Herbsaint. Set aside.
- In a second old fashioned glass, muddle the sugar cube with a few drops of water.
- Add the rye and bitters to the muddled sugar. Add a few cubes of ice. Stir.
- Strain into Herbsaint coated old fashioned glass.
- Express lemon peel around rim and then add as garnish.