Thursday, July 23, 2009


2 oz Sazerac 6 yr Rye
1 oz Simple Syrup
4 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Herbsaint. Garnish with a lemon twist.

On Friday night, when we went back to our hotel, the Pere Marquette, we spotted that the hotel bar, the Uncommon, was still open. Andrea and I sat down at the end of the bar, and I decided to order a Sazerac. While we did have both rye- and brandy-based Sazeracs at the New Orleans Pharmacists talk the day before, I wanted to experience another variation of this drink. The Uncommon's version was a bit sweeter than I usually tend to like them, but the rye and bitters do tone down the slug of simple syrup enough even for my semi-dry palate. This ratio of rye to simple syrup is also the recipe that Eastern Standard here in Boston uses. The N.O. Pharmacists versions were a lot drier with a "splash" of simple syrup. For the seminar, the presenter demonstrated the fancy Herbsaint rinse -- he tossed the glass in the air with a spin so the excess Herbsaint spun out. And to protect his suit from the liqueur, he wore a snazzy Sazerac poncho! See Stevi Deter's poncho photo and write-up in the TalesBlog.

The Sazerac company provided postcards with their preferred Sazerac recipe with my additions noted:
• 1 cube Sugar
• 1 1/2 oz Sazerac Rye Whiskey
• 1/4 oz Herbsaint Liqueur D'Anis
• 3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
• Lemon Peel
Pack an old-fashioned glass with ice. In a second old-fashioned glass, place the sugar cube and add the bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube (ed: a splash of water will help dissolve the sugar). Add rye to the sugar-bitters glass (ed: add ice and stir). Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture (ed: strain) from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.
The Sazerac seems to be a drink, like the Mojito and Caipirinha, where the proper methodology is often heatedly argued. Such as whether Angostura belongs in the drink and if so how much and whether the lemon peel should be twisted and dropped into the drink or ceremoniously discarded. For a greater elaboration on this drama, see Chuck Taggart's article in the Gumbo Pages blog.

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