Happy Hour: The Sazerac

How did this classic concoction become the official cocktail of New Orleans? Let’s find out…

The Sazerac was originally created in New Orleans around 1850, when Sewell T. Taylor sold his bar and got into the liquor import business. He began importing a brand of cognac entitled, Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils. Meanwhile, Aaron Bird, the man who assumed ownership of Taylor’s bar and renamed it Sazerac Coffee House. Bird began serving the “sazerac cocktail” with Taylor’s cognac and bitters created by a local apothecary, Antoine Amedie Peychaud.

In 1870, Thomas Handy became the proprietor of the Sazerac Coffee House and shortly before he died, recorded the cocktail recipe. In 1908, William T. “Cocktail Bill” Boothby published The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them, which was the first place the drink was widely shared.

Finally in June of 2008, Louisiana state Senator, Edwin R. Murray filed a bill and had the cocktail proclaimed as the official cocktail of New Orleans…and there you have it!

As always, we recommend ordering one of these at the bar tonight before you decide to purchase the ingredients for your home bar.

You’ll need…

3 oz Cognac or Rye Whiskey

1 Sugar Cube

Absinthe or similar Anise flavored liqueur

Peychaud’s Bitters

Rinse an old fashioned glass with the Absinthe and dump it once the inside of the glass is covered. In a separate glass or mixing tin, add the sugar cube and dash the bitters 4-5 times over the top, then muddle the cube with the liquid of the bitters. Add cognac or whiskey and stir with ice. Strain the mixture into the Absinthe soaked glass neat, no ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.


header image via chowhound.com

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