Looking for a Mardi Gras cocktail that isn’t a Hurricane? Try a Sazerac instead. In my opinion, the Sazerac is New Orleans. Not only was it invented there but it’s also the Crescent City’s official cocktail. The Sazerac also has some distinctive New Orleans ingredients, Peychaud’s bitters and Herbsaint, which really make it a drink fit for your Fat Tuesday celebration.
Originally crafted in the mid 1800’s the Sazerac consisted of cognac (Sazerac de Forge et Fils to be specific, thus the cocktail’s name), absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters and some sugar. Rye whiskey was substituted for cognac during the phylloxera plague of the 1870’s (cognac being a French brandy made from grapes) and Herbsaint replaced absinthe when the US government decided to ban it in 1912, making it much more of an American cocktail and full of local flavors since both Peychaud’s bitters and Herbsaint were created in New Orleans.
The Sazerac is not unlike an Old Fashioned but it has a little extra flavor to it due to the anise flavored Herbsaint/absinthe. Pleasantly refreshing. However, this is definitely what I’d call a “high-test” cocktail. More than two of these and you’re entering a danger zone. The problem is, they’re really delicious and go down pretty easily. Not for nothing but the best part about deciding to add this to the blog is the taste test to make sure the recipe is correct.
Sorry posting’s been light lately, real world activity has gotten in the way of tending to my little piece of internet real estate but I’ve got a few things in the creative hopper coming up!
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
- Absinthe or Herbsaint to coat the glass
- Lemon peel
Chill an Old Fashioned or rocks glass by packing with ice and some water.
Mix the whiskey, simple syrup, and bitters in a separate rocks glass or cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir to chill.
Pour the ice and water out of the chilled glass.
Add some absinthe or Herbsaint to the glass and coat the inside by rolling the liquor around the sides. Discard the excess.
Strain the whiskey mixture into the absinthe coated glass. Squeeze the lemon rind over the cocktail and also rub the rim of the glass with it.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!