Classics. Pt 3 – The Sazerac

July 14, 2009

The Sazerac is pretty widely accepted as one the oldest cocktails out there. Most certainly one of the oldest to be found popularised in the US.

Its name originating in 1859 in New Orleans, in John Schiller’s coffee house “The Sazerac Coffee House”, its recipe is still, after some tweaking, in usage around the world. However the recipe behind it is found as early as 1830, crafted by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, for usage with his namesake bitters.

During Absinthe’s long period of illegality (only reversed in 2007) in the US, many other herbal concoctions were used to try and achieve its unique taste. However it is certain that in the original, nothing but the finest absinthe would do.

It is, and has always been, built in a very certain manner:

60ml Whiskey (traditionally Rye)
12.5ml Absinthe
3 Dash Peychauds Bitters
1 Sugar Cube

Get two old fashioned rocks glasses. In one, fill with ice and and add the absinthe, leaving for a few moments to wet. In the other place the sugar cube and soak it in the bitters, pummel down with a muddler to produce a sugary paste (add drops of water if this is hard). Stir the ice and absinthe to coat the inside of the glass with the absinthe, then disgard the ice. Add the whiskey to the glass with the sugary paste and stir the mixture together. The transfer the mixture to the absinthe coated glass, briefly swirl by hand. Garnish with an orange zest, or no garnish – personal preference.

Notes. Harsh and cloying notes from the whiskey and absinth are present on initial taste, progressing to a smoother middle texture with the peychauds and sugar creating a subtle spicey note underneath the mixture. Ends on a long aniside taste at the back of the tongue.

Can also be made with a variety of spirits in place of the whiskey. Cognac and Aged Rum are two personal favourites. As the drink relies upon the base quality of the spirit used it is essential to use high-level spirits in the making of the drink.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: