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What to Drink This Weekend: Sazerac

What to Drink This Weekend: Sazerac

Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.

The Sazerac is an American classic. The official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac drink was named for a particular brand of cognac: Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils. The cocktail is a close relation of the Old Fashioned with far more of a boozy punch. Historically, the Sazerac cocktail, which traces its origins to New Orleans in the mid-1800s, was made exclusively with French brandy, as well as the Big Easy’s bitters of choice: Peychauds. As the rise of rye took over America, whiskey replaced cognac in this classic cocktail. Now, bartenders might use them interchangeably or, as we will here, combine the two for a cocktail that’s herbal, bracing, and delicious.

Sazerac Ingredients

Rye Whiskey – While some might swap in other whiskeys in an Old Fashioned, we’d recommend sticking squarely to a rye whiskey in a Sazerac. The Sazerac Co. Rye Whiskey is a fitting option you’ll find in most liquor stores and bars. Rittenhouse Rye and WhistlePig 10 Year Rye would be among our top choices for this cocktail.

CognacSazerac de Forge et Fils is extremely hard to come by these days but if you can get a bottle, we’d recommend using some in a Sazerac. Otherwise, Courvoisier or even Hennessy are solid options.

Bitters – Bitters are a significant component of this classic cocktail. While you can opt between the two, a combination of both Peychaud’s and Angostura works perfectly in this cocktail.

Absinthe – While it might seem superfluous, Absinthe is a critical component of this cocktail. It might seem odd but you’ll be using it for an absinthe rinse within the glass rather than adding it to your final drink. Still, the deeply aromatic and powerful spirit ties together this herbal cocktail. Pernod Absinthe is a classic option and the U.S.’s own Leopold Brothers makes a killer absinthe.

Sazerac Recipe

  1. Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with about a quarter ounce of absinthe, discard.
  2. Muddle a sugar cube with two dashes each of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters in a mixing glass.
  3. Add 2 ounces rye and half an ounce of cognac, fill with ice, and stir until chilled.
  4. Strain into chilled rocks glass.
  5. Express a lemon peel over the cocktail and garnish with the peel.
  6. Serve neat and enjoy!