Sazerac Cocktail – A Classic New Orleans Drink Recipe

Sazerac Cocktail

The Sazerac Cocktail is a classic American cocktail that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the mid-19th century. It is considered one of the oldest known cocktails in the United States. This strong and flavorful drink is typically made with rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint, sugar, and bitters, and is garnished with a lemon twist. The Sazerac Cocktail has a rich history and is deeply rooted in the culture of New Orleans, where it is often enjoyed as a traditional pre-dinner drink.

The exact origin of the Sazerac Cocktail is somewhat disputed, but it is believed to have been created by a pharmacist named Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the early 1830s. Peychaud, who was originally from Haiti, immigrated to New Orleans and set up a pharmacy in the French Quarter. He created a medicinal elixir called Peychaud’s Bitters, which he used to make his signature cocktail. The drink became popular among locals and was eventually named after the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac, which was originally used as the base spirit in the drink.


The Sazerac Cocktail is a classic cocktail that originated in New Orleans in the mid-19th century. It is made with a few key ingredients that give it its unique flavor and character. The main ingredient in a Sazerac Cocktail is rye whiskey. Rye whiskey is known for its spicy and robust flavor profile, which is why it works so well in this cocktail. The traditional recipe calls for a specific brand of rye whiskey called Sazerac Rye, but any high-quality rye whiskey will do.

Another important ingredient in a Sazerac Cocktail is absinthe. Absinthe is a strong, aromatic spirit that is made with wormwood and other botanicals. It has a distinct licorice-like flavor that adds depth and complexity to the cocktail. In the traditional recipe, a small amount of absinthe is swirled around the glass and then discarded before adding the other ingredients. This technique, known as “rinsing,” imparts just a hint of absinthe flavor to the finished cocktail.

In addition to rye whiskey and absinthe, a Sazerac Cocktail also includes sugar and Peychaud’s Bitters. Sugar is used to sweeten the cocktail and balance out the strong flavors of the whiskey and absinthe. Peychaud’s Bitters, a type of cocktail bitters that was also invented in New Orleans, adds a unique herbal and spiced flavor to the cocktail. These two ingredients, along with the rye whiskey and absinthe, create a perfectly balanced and delicious cocktail that is a true New Orleans classic.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make a Sazerac Cocktail

Making a Sazerac cocktail is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps. Following this step-by-step guide will help you create a delicious and authentic Sazerac cocktail to enjoy.

  1. Gather the necessary ingredients:
• 2 oz Rye whiskey
• 1 sugar cube or 1/2 oz simple syrup
• 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
• Absinthe or Herbsaint rinse
• Lemon peel
  1. Prepare the glass:

Take an Old Fashioned glass and rinse it with absinthe or Herbsaint. Discard any excess liquid and set the glass aside.

  1. Muddle the sugar:

If you are using a sugar cube, place it in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the Peychaud’s bitters and muddle the sugar until it is dissolved. If you are using simple syrup, add it directly to the mixing glass.

  1. Add the whiskey:

Pour the rye whiskey into the mixing glass with the sugar and bitters. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled, about 30 seconds.

Tips from professional chefs for making a Sazerac Cocktail

1. Use the right ingredients: To make a classic Sazerac Cocktail, it is important to use the right ingredients. Start with a high-quality rye whiskey, such as Sazerac rye, which is traditionally used in this cocktail. Use a good-quality absinthe or Herbsaint, which is a popular substitute for absinthe in the Sazerac. Additionally, make sure to have a sugar cube or simple syrup on hand, as well as Peychaud’s bitters, which are essential for the distinct flavor of this cocktail.

2. Chill the glass: One important tip for making a great Sazerac Cocktail is to chill the glass before pouring the drink. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients. This will help keep the cocktail cold and enhance the flavors.

3. Take your time with the absinthe rinse: One of the unique elements of a Sazerac Cocktail is the absinthe rinse. Instead of mixing the absinthe directly into the cocktail, pour a small amount into the chilled glass and swirl it around to coat the sides. Then, discard the excess absinthe. This step adds a subtle, yet distinctive, flavor to the cocktail. Take your time with the absinthe rinse to ensure it is evenly distributed around the glass.


The Sazerac Cocktail is a classic drink that never fails to impress. As a cocktail enthusiast, I have tried my fair share of drinks, but the Sazerac stands out as one of the best. The combination of rye whiskey, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, and absinthe creates a flavor profile that is both bold and complex.

When I first tried the Sazerac, I was immediately struck by its strong, smoky aroma. The rye whiskey adds a rich and robust flavor that is balanced perfectly by the sweetness of the sugar and the herbal notes of the absinthe. The addition of Peychaud’s bitters enhances the overall taste, providing a pleasant and slightly spicy kick.

What sets the Sazerac apart from other cocktails is its unique preparation. The glass is chilled with absinthe and then discarded, giving the drink a subtle hint of anise flavor. The rye whiskey is then stirred with sugar and bitters until well combined. The result is a cocktail that is smooth, sophisticated, and utterly delicious.

I recently tried the Sazerac Cocktail and I must say, it was a truly delightful experience! As someone who loves experimenting with different cocktail recipes, I was really excited to give this one a try, especially after hearing so many positive reviews about it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

First of all, the combination of ingredients in the Sazerac Cocktail is simply perfect. The blend of rye whiskey, absinthe, sugar, and Peychaud’s bitters creates a unique and complex flavor profile that is both bold and smooth. The rye whiskey adds a rich and robust taste, while the absinthe adds a subtle hint of licorice that brings everything together.

The preparation process for the Sazerac Cocktail is also quite interesting. The glass is coated with absinthe, which gives the drink a beautiful and aromatic touch. The addition of sugar and Peychaud’s bitters adds a hint of sweetness and a touch of spiciness that balances out the flavors perfectly. The result is a cocktail that is incredibly smooth and delicious, with just the right amount of complexity.

Overall, I highly recommend trying the Sazerac Cocktail if you are a fan of whiskey-based cocktails. Its unique flavor profile and the careful preparation process make it a truly special drink that you won’t forget. Whether you are looking to impress your friends at a special occasion or simply want to enjoy a well-crafted cocktail at home, the Sazerac Cocktail is definitely worth a try!

The Sazerac Cocktail is a true classic in the world of mixology. As a passionate cocktail enthusiast, I was excited to try my hand at recreating this iconic drink at home.

The first thing that struck me about the Sazerac Cocktail was its rich and complex flavors. The combination of rye whiskey, absinthe, and bitters creates a unique and unforgettable taste that is both bold and smooth. I loved how the rye whiskey provided a warm and robust base, while the absinthe added a subtle herbal note that balanced out the sweetness of the bitters. It’s a drink that lingers on your palate, leaving you wanting more.

Another aspect that I enjoyed about the Sazerac Cocktail was its nostalgic charm. The recipe dates back to the 19th century in New Orleans, giving it a special historical significance. As I sipped on the cocktail, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in an old New Orleans speakeasy, surrounded by sophisticated gentlemen enjoying the same drink. It’s a drink that transports you to another time and place, making it a truly unique and memorable experience.

Add a comment