Sazerac Cocktail: Celebrate Mardi Gras with the New Orleans Classic

February 17, 2023

While there is nothing like being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season (or anytime really), you can still celebrate from afar with a classic cocktail. Of course there are a myriad of drinks with a connection to the Crescent City like a Hurricane or a Pimm’s Cup. But this time of year a boozy and brown cocktail is in order and the Sazerac cocktail certainly checks those boxes. And though there is a debate to be had over whether it should be made using rye whiskey or cognac, we’re fans of both. If you can’t decide you can always split the difference with equal parts rye and cognac.

One thing that you definitely should not exclude is Peychaud’s Bitters. This bitters brand was created in New Orleans in 1838 by a Creole apothecary named Antoine Amédée Peychaud. In the 1850s, The Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans served a drink made with their house brandy and bitters and that is how the Sazerac Cocktail got its name. Today, Buffalo Trace Distillery makes Peychaud’s Bitters according to the original recipe.

Sazerac cocktail

Sazerac Cocktail

2 oz rye whiskey or cognac
4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 sugar cube
lemon peel
absinthe to rinse (about a bar spoon)

To make: Add just enough absinthe to coat a chilled rocks glass. Discard any excess and set the glass aside. In a separate mixing glass, add the sugar cube and bitters then muddle. Then add rye and/or cognac and ice. Stir until well chilled then strain into prepared chilled rocks glass. Squeeze the lemon twist above the glass to express its oils and discard.

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