April 4, 2014 – The Republic Steakhouse
Sazerac (original version)
1 sugar cube
Dashes Peychaud bitters (or Angostura)
1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/4 oz. Pernod
Water or soda
Place bitters-saturated sugar cube into an Old Fashioned glass and crush with a barspoon. Add liquors and mix well. Fill with water.
Sazerac rye, Peychaud bitters, and Carpano Antica vermouth rosso. Also, rather than Pernod, Ryan used Mythe absinthe in an atomizer to mist the inside of the glass. I’m not sure why the recipe in American Bar indicates to add the Pernod with the other ingredients instead of following the traditional practice of “rinsing” the inside of the glass with absinthe. It might be because absinthe was still illegal when the book was written. I was very happy with what I got, regardless of method. Satisfyingly spicy, warm, herbal, and very slightly sweet.
The Sazerac has a very interesting history. In fact, it is sometimes called Americas oldest known cocktail. Lore has that it was originally developed in antebellum New Orleans and made with the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac brandy, which gave it its name. Some say that the phylloxera infestation that nearly wiped out the French wine industry in the nineteenth century caused the switch to rye whiskey.
Another somewhat embarassing confession: I lived in Louisiana for six years, spent a LOT of time eating and drinking in New Orleans, and never tried a Sazerac. I had read about them, and I’ve always been intrigued by the history. Now that I’ve tried it, it will definitely go into my rapidly expanding rotation.
Laissez le bon temps rouler! (Cajun)