15 October 2008

The Sazerac Cocktail

The New Orleans favorite Sazerac is considered by some to be the first cocktail ever invented. The original was made with cognac and absinthe, and the modern version is usually made with rye whiskey and Herbsaint, an absinthe substitute produced in the US.

I balanced tradition and personal preference with my application of this recipe. I used two shots of Sazerac Rye and three dashes of Peychaud's Bitters (both now made in Kentucky), along with a few drops of French Pastis Henri Bardouin and a bit of sugar to sweeten it all. I felt the pastis substitution would provide the necessary anise/herbal kick. (I've had real German and Czech absinthe; I still prefer pastis.) Everything was stirred together in a chilled tumbler, and a slice of lemon peel was tossed in for garnish (not pictured).

Rye is a little more peppery and spicy than normal whiskey, and Peychaud's Bitters are closer to cherry cough syrup than Angostura Bitters. While all of this sounds a little strange, the cocktail really did come together well. I felt it worked better with a couple of ice cubes in it, and that allowed you to savor it properly over a half hour.


Samantha Dugan said...

I have had real Absinthe and I too prefer Pastis without a doubt...seems less sweet and has more depth of flavor. I had a question for you, I drink Pastis a lot and have tried the Henri Bardouin that you used in your cocktail, I found that it had a pretty pronounced cinnamon flavor, do you get that? I am wondering if they make more than one and I got a spiced one? Just curious if you noticed that.

Benito said...

I've never noticed a cinnamon flavor, however this is the only pastis I've tried and I'm not an expert on the subject (the options are limited in this part of the country, and I'd tried HB in a bar previously). The website seems to only list one pastis, but the company makes a wide range of spirits.

Any other producers you'd recommend?

Samantha Dugan said...

My go-to Pastis right now is Granier Mon Pastis, seems to have just a tad less sweetness which suits my palate and to top it off it is half the price of Pernod...rare that I prefer the lesser expensive but man do I love it when it happens.