We present to you the Sazerac cocktail…a drink that is not for the faint of heart. It is the quintessential New Orleans cocktail and has even been named the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans. The Sazerac has a conflicted history rife with legend. Essentially however, it was created in the early part of the 19th century by Antoine Amadie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary who moved to New Orleans from the West Indies and set up shop in the French Quarter. He served the drink to his friends and before long the cocktail was being served at bars throughout New Orleans.
I found the drink to be a bit strong for my taste and must admit that I doctored it up with lemon juice and a bit more sugar. I hope there are no Sazerac purists reading this because I know that the preceding sentence would be considered heresy…the process and method of preparation of the Sazerac is strictly adhered to and not altered by most. However, here at Rampant Cuisine we leave no recipe untouched and we believe that everything, even the Sazerac cocktail, can be improved upon. The traditional recipe follows but feel free to alter ingredients and quantities to suit your taste!
The Sazerac Cocktail
1 cube or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
Splash water, about 1/2 teaspoon
2 ounces rye whiskey
Splash Herbsaint or Pernod, about 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon peel for garnish
In old-fashioned glass, add ice and set aside. In another, combine sugar, bitters, and water. Muddle until sugar is completely dissolved. Add rye whiskey, fill with ice, and stir well, about 15 seconds. From first glass, discard ice, then add Herbsaint. Holding glass horizontally, turn it so that Herbsaint completely coats the interior. Discard any excess. Strain contents of second glass into chilled glass. Twist lemon peel directly over drink to release essential oils, and serve.