Log Date

A whiskey adventure for you and me.

  1. Still frame

    The predecessor of the Sazerac was a simple brandy toddy, popularized in New Orleans in 1838 by Creole druggist Antoine Amadie Peychaud, who served up the cocktail with his family’s bitters. By 1850, the Sazerac cocktail as we now know it was standardized at Merchants Exchange Coffee House (really a saloon) on Exchange Alley, using a few drops of absinthe “to give it a few more layers of flavor.” The coffeehouse’s owner, Sewell Taylor, was also a liquor importer whose most popular product was the Sazerac-du-Forge et Fils cognac which was used in the cocktail. Eventually the name of the coffeehouse changed to Sazerac Coffee House with its most requested drink taking on its name as well. But thanks to the changing tastes of Americans, who preferred American rye to French brandy, the cocktail was most often made with rye whiskey. While you can offend a Manhattan drinker by shaking the spirits-only cocktail, you can wrong the Sazerac lover by committing any of the following sins: make it too sweet, serve it with ice, drop the lemon peel into the drink, or use any bitters other than Peychaud’s. (Though adding just a drop of Angostura bitters in addition to the Peychaud’s will open up the flavor significantly.) 
Sazerac
by Chuck Taggart, GumboPages.comGenerous barspoon (roughly one teaspoon) of simple syrup (made with demerara or turbinado sugar at a 2:1 sugar to water ratio) or 1 sugar cube4 big “slugs” of Peychaud’s bitters (“Slug that bottle from the elbow.”)2 ounces rye whiskey2 or 3 dashes of absintheLemon peel1) Start with two Old Fashioned glasses. (No mixing tins!) Chill one in the freezer, and use the other glass to mix the drink while the other is getting frosty. (If you’ve got a bit more time in between now and when you’re drinking, feel free to chill both glasses.)2) Drop in simple syrup and bitters. If using a sugar cube, also drop in no more than a half an ounce of water to help dissolve it.3) Pour in the whiskey and a scoop of ice cubes and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. If the ice is wet, stir for less time. With hard, non-wet ice, do it for 30 seconds. “You should be able to taste the whiskey. It’s a strong drink, so be careful to not over-dilute it [while stirring with the ice].”4) Get the chilled glass and put in 2 or 3 dashes of absinthe. Rotate the glass to evenly coat it with the absinthe. You can choose to toss out the excess or keep it, depending on how much of that anise flavor you want in your cocktail.5) Strain the whiskey from the mixing glass to the chilled glass using a julep strainer.6) Squeeze the lemon peel over the glass and wipe the rim with it, but for god’s sake DO NOT drop it in. As Stanley Clisby Arthur, New Orleans author, says in his 1936 book Old New Orleans: A History of the Vieux Carre, Its Ancient and Historical Buildings, “Do not commit the sacrilege of dropping it into the drink.” Basically you don’t want to throw the balance off and let it get too lemony. Also, if you’re going to add cognac, Chuck recommends trying half rye and half cognac. If you’re going for an all-cognac recipe, use an orange peel instead of lemon.Recommended rye whiskey: Sazerac 6 Year, Rittenhouse, Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 YearRecommended cognac: Pierre Ferrand 1840, Hennessy VSOP, Germain Robin Alambic BrandyHowever, I have to include Las Perlas’ Raul Yrastorza who claims to make one of the best Sazeracs around: “one that is stirred real cold but then poured into a warmed glass where the absinthe rinse was previously lit afire and then extinguished and dumped. I believe that it mimics the warmth of your hand and that warmth opens up the flavor a of the sazerac and orange oils.”
[Read on.]

    The predecessor of the Sazerac was a simple brandy toddy, popularized in New Orleans in 1838 by Creole druggist Antoine Amadie Peychaud, who served up the cocktail with his family’s bitters. By 1850, the Sazerac cocktail as we now know it was standardized at Merchants Exchange Coffee House (really a saloon) on Exchange Alley, using a few drops of absinthe “to give it a few more layers of flavor.” The coffeehouse’s owner, Sewell Taylor, was also a liquor importer whose most popular product was the Sazerac-du-Forge et Fils cognac which was used in the cocktail. Eventually the name of the coffeehouse changed to Sazerac Coffee House with its most requested drink taking on its name as well. But thanks to the changing tastes of Americans, who preferred American rye to French brandy, the cocktail was most often made with rye whiskey. 

    While you can offend a Manhattan drinker by shaking the spirits-only cocktail, you can wrong the Sazerac lover by committing any of the following sins: make it too sweet, serve it with ice, drop the lemon peel into the drink, or use any bitters other than Peychaud’s. (Though adding just a drop of Angostura bitters in addition to the Peychaud’s will open up the flavor significantly.) 

    Sazerac


    by Chuck Taggart, GumboPages.com

    Generous barspoon (roughly one teaspoon) of simple syrup (made with demerara or turbinado sugar at a 2:1 sugar to water ratio) or 1 sugar cube
    4 big “slugs” of Peychaud’s bitters (“Slug that bottle from the elbow.”)
    2 ounces rye whiskey
    2 or 3 dashes of absinthe
    Lemon peel

    1) Start with two Old Fashioned glasses. (No mixing tins!) Chill one in the freezer, and use the other glass to mix the drink while the other is getting frosty. (If you’ve got a bit more time in between now and when you’re drinking, feel free to chill both glasses.)
    2) Drop in simple syrup and bitters. If using a sugar cube, also drop in no more than a half an ounce of water to help dissolve it.
    3) Pour in the whiskey and a scoop of ice cubes and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. If the ice is wet, stir for less time. With hard, non-wet ice, do it for 30 seconds. “You should be able to taste the whiskey. It’s a strong drink, so be careful to not over-dilute it [while stirring with the ice].”
    4) Get the chilled glass and put in 2 or 3 dashes of absinthe. Rotate the glass to evenly coat it with the absinthe. You can choose to toss out the excess or keep it, depending on how much of that anise flavor you want in your cocktail.
    5) Strain the whiskey from the mixing glass to the chilled glass using a julep strainer.
    6) Squeeze the lemon peel over the glass and wipe the rim with it, but for god’s sake DO NOT drop it in. As Stanley Clisby Arthur, New Orleans author, says in his 1936 book Old New Orleans: A History of the Vieux Carre, Its Ancient and Historical Buildings, “Do not commit the sacrilege of dropping it into the drink.” Basically you don’t want to throw the balance off and let it get too lemony. 

    Also, if you’re going to add cognac, Chuck recommends trying half rye and half cognac. If you’re going for an all-cognac recipe, use an orange peel instead of lemon.

    Recommended rye whiskey: Sazerac 6 Year, Rittenhouse, Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 Year
    Recommended cognac: Pierre Ferrand 1840, Hennessy VSOP, Germain Robin Alambic Brandy

    However, I have to include Las Perlas’ Raul Yrastorza who claims to make one of the best Sazeracs around: “one that is stirred real cold but then poured into a warmed glass where the absinthe rinse was previously lit afire and then extinguished and dumped. I believe that it mimics the warmth of your hand and that warmth opens up the flavor a of the sazerac and orange oils.”

    [Read on.]

  2. Still frame

    February 15, 1898
This evening in 1898, the American battleship, U.S.S. Maine, which was sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt from Spain, mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana harbor. Nearly three-quarters of her crew of 374 officers and men, perished in the disaster. Though the cause and possible culprits for the explosion are debateable, U.S. newspapers recognized the appeal of great headlines and seized upon the slogan “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” and drove popular opinion towards war with Spain.
Remember the Maine
¼ ounce Cherry Heering
¾ ounce Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry
2 ounces Old Overholt rye
Spray of Pernod absinthe
Glass: Coupe or Cocktail
Garnish: Luxardo Marasche cherry, slightly wet
Rinse chilled coupe glass with 2 dashes of absinthe or coat glass with 1 atomizer spray of absinthe. In chilled mixing glass, combine Cherry Heering, Dolin vermouth and Old Overholt rye and stir with cracked ice for 80 turns (1 ½–2 minutes). Strain contents of mixing glass into coupe. Garnish with cherry.

    February 15, 1898

    This evening in 1898, the American battleship, U.S.S. Maine, which was sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt from Spain, mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana harbor. Nearly three-quarters of her crew of 374 officers and men, perished in the disaster. Though the cause and possible culprits for the explosion are debateable, U.S. newspapers recognized the appeal of great headlines and seized upon the slogan “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” and drove popular opinion towards war with Spain.

    Remember the Maine

    • ¼ ounce Cherry Heering
    • ¾ ounce Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry
    • 2 ounces Old Overholt rye
    • Spray of Pernod absinthe

    Glass: Coupe or Cocktail

    Garnish: Luxardo Marasche cherry, slightly wet

    Rinse chilled coupe glass with 2 dashes of absinthe or coat glass with 1 atomizer spray of absinthe. In chilled mixing glass, combine Cherry Heering, Dolin vermouth and Old Overholt rye and stir with cracked ice for 80 turns (1 ½–2 minutes). Strain contents of mixing glass into coupe. Garnish with cherry.

    (Source: liqurious.notcot.org)