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The Sazerac: A New Orleans Classic You Can Make at Home

The Sazerac: A New Orleans Classic You Can Make at Home
  March 29, 2024

The Sazerac: A New Orleans Classic You Can Make at Home

The Sazerac, a potent and flavorful cocktail, is the official drink of New Orleans.  This historical beverage boasts a complex flavor profile, combining the herbal notes of absinthe with the richness of rye whiskey and the sweetness of sugar.  While traditionally made with absinthe rinse, a suitable substitute like Herbsaint can be used.  Here's how to create this iconic cocktail in your own home:


1 sugar cube

3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

2 ounces rye whiskey

1/4 ounce absinthe (or substitute like Herbsaint)

Lemon peel, for garnish

Angels Envy Rye Whiskey – 750ML


Chill Your Glass: Begin by chilling an old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside to allow it to become thoroughly cold. Discard the ice before building your drink.

Prepare the Glass Rinse (Optional): While the glass chills, prepare the absinthe rinse (if using). Pour a small amount of absinthe (about ¼ ounce) into a separate glass or container. Swirl the absinthe to coat the entire inner surface of the glass, then discard the liquid. This step adds a subtle anise flavor to the drink and is a traditional touch, though not essential.

Muddle the Sugar and Bitters: In the chilled old-fashioned glass, add the sugar cube and 3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters. Using a muddler (or the back of a spoon in a pinch), gently muddle the sugar cube and bitters together to release the sugar's sweetness and the bitters' flavor.

Add Whiskey and Stir: Pour the 2 ounces of rye whiskey into the glass with the muddled sugar and bitters. Fill the glass with fresh ice and stir for 15-20 seconds. This chilling dilution is important for a well-balanced drink.

Strain and Garnish: Using a bar strainer, strain the contents of the mixing glass into the chilled, absinthe-rinsed (if used) old-fashioned glass. Discard the ice and any remaining solids from the strainer.

Express the Lemon Peel: Express the oils from a lemon peel twist over the drink by squeezing it gently over the surface and then dropping it into the glass (optional) or discard it.


For a sweeter drink, use a simple syrup instead of a sugar cube. Add ½ ounce of simple syrup along with the bitters during the muddling stage.

High-quality rye whiskey is key for an authentic Sazerac experience. If rye whiskey is unavailable, bourbon can be substituted, though the flavor profile will be slightly different.

If you don't have a muddler, the back of a spoon can be used to effectively muddle the sugar cube and bitters.

Adjust the amount of Peychaud's bitters to your taste preference.

Enjoy Responsibly!

The Sazerac packs a punch, so savor it slowly and enjoy the rich history and unique flavor profile of this New Orleans classic cocktail.