Monday, August 12, 2013

sea captain's sazerac

2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
4 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Build in a Double Old Fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice. Top with champagne (1 1/2 oz Gruet Blanc de Blanc) and float 1/4 oz absinthe, Herbsaint, or pastis (La Muse Verte). Garnish with lemon oil and add a straw.

Two Tuesdays ago, I decided to repeat at home what I made for a guest at work who wanted a whiskey drink. I had wanted to riff on the Sea Captain's Special from Stan Jones' Complete Barguide for a while and this was the perfect moment; the original was a drink I made for MxMo 31 where I took a handful of champagne cocktails and subbed in a crisp, cheap beer in its place to see how well the substitution worked. Essentially, the recipe was akin to how Boothby might make an Old Fashioned by topping it with champagne -- he would ask the guest if it was alright if he did it but not inform them that there was an upcharge for that service. In addition, there was a pastis louche halo as there is in my favorite aperitif cocktail, the Half Sinner-Half Saint, that Scott Holliday taught to me. As I mulled over the drink the week or so before, I realized that the Sea Captain's Special could easily be turned into an abstraction of a Sazerac by specifying Peychaud's as the bitters and adding lemon oil to the mix.
The Sea Captain's Sazerac offered a lemon oil and anise aroma. A sweet malt and wine sip led into a swallow that began with rye spiced with the anise-driven Peychaud's Bitters and ended with a mousy sparkling wine note. As it got closer to the end, the absinthe notes became prevalent on the finish.

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