Cocktail of the Month: Sazerac

Tasty cocktail. weird name.
The Sazerac cocktail is a delightful and aromatic drink that packs a punch. While it is primarily made with rye whiskey, that wasn't always the case. In the early days, the sazerac was made with brandy or cognac. The cognac of choice at the time in New Orleans was Sazerac de Forge et Fils, from which the drink received its name. Add to that the distinct anise notes of absinthe, a sugar cube, and some bitters (to include the requisite Peychaud's) and you are in business. 

Sazerac cocktail by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Sazerac cocktail by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

The sazerac is often referred to as the oldest American cocktail dating back to the pre-Civil War era. It has seen its share of changes, including the substitution of anise flavored spirits when absinthe was banned in the US in 1912. Because of that, you may see some variation in recipes, but the basics remain.

Sazerac cocktail by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Sazerac cocktail by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Getting it right:

Even with the right ingredients, many people struggle with the perfect sazerac. Much of it has to do with the preparation. Be sure to just coat the inside of the glass with the Pernod or absinthe. Don't over pour... and don't forget to rub the rim of the glass with the lemon peel. It really makes a difference.

Sazerac recipe graphic by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Sazerac recipe graphic by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest