It may just be Tuesday in most places, but it’s Mardi Gras down in Louisiana so why not enjoy one of New Orleans’ most famous cocktails, the Sazerac, right this minute. The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails around, with a history going back more than 160 years. Our version uses two different kinds of bitters in line with a recipe from Peychaud’s 1935 cocktail book, in which it’s simply described as the “New Orleans Whiskey Cocktail.” That version uses a type of anise-flavored liqueur no longer available called Greenopal, but we use Herbsaint, which has been the go-to for the drink since this liqeuer appeared in the mid-1930s. Three years after Peychaud put out their recipe book, the journalist and author Stanley Clisby Arthur wrote about another version that appeared in “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to MIx ‘em.” He eschewed dropping the lemon peel into his version, but considering the original recipe from the 1850s used cognac instead of rye and didn’t have absinthe or Herbsaint, we’re OK with tossing the peel in, as we like the interplay between the citrus and anise flavors.
1 teaspoon Herbsaint liqueur (or absinthe)
3/4 teaspoon sugar (or sugar cube and a dash of water)
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 lemon peel twist
-Add the Herbsaint to a chilled old-fashioned glass and swirl it around to coat the entire sides and bottom then discard excess.
-In a cocktail shaker add ice cubes, sugar, rye whiskey, and bitters. Stir gently for about 30 seconds; strain into the prepared old-fashioned glass.
-Twist thick lemon peel over the drink and then place in the drink.
Sip and enjoy!
Makes 1 cocktail.