Sazerac (cocktail)

iba =
name = Sazerac

caption =
type = cocktail
flaming =
absinthe = yes
brandy = yes
rye = yes
served = straight
garnish = Lemon peel
drinkware = old
ingredients = *Two parts brandy or rye whiskey
*One dash Peychaud's Bitters
*One tsp sugar or simple syrup
*One tsp absinthe
prep = Coat the inside of the glass with a film of absinthe, then stir the ingredients together in a glass of ice, and strain into another glass. Garnish and serve.
notes = Originally, the Sazerac was made and served in an egg cup.
footnotes =
The Sazerac is one of the oldest known cocktails, with its origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans, Louisiana. The original drink is based on a combination of Cognac and bitters created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the 1830s, and is reported to be the first cocktail ever invented in America. [] Since its creation, many different recipes have evolved for the drink, usually involving some combination of Cognac, rye whiskey, absinthe, pastis, Peychaud's Bitters, and Angostura bitters.

The Sazerac cocktail was named by John Schiller in 1859 upon the opening of his Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. Both most likely derive their name from a popular brand of Cognac, "Sazerac-du-Forge et fils" .


The defining feature of the Sazerac is the preparation of the glass with absinthe or pastis. Absinthe is used traditionally but was, until recently, difficult to obtain in the United States and other countries due to importation and production restrictions. Pernod, Herbsaint, Absente and green Chartreuse are common substitutes although they are not made from grande wormwood, the traditional type of wormwood used in pre-ban absinthes. On March 5, 2007 chemist, T.A. Breaux introduced pre-ban, grande wormwood absinthe back into to the U.S. market with a brand known as Lucid. Lucid is created using traditional French methods, making it the preferred absinthe for this classic recipe.

The inside of an old fashioned glass is coated with small amount of absinthe, and any excess is discarded. The coated glass is either used to prepare the cocktail or is used as the serving glass. Traditionally, a sugar cube was muddled with a small amount of water in the bottom of the glass. Today, simple syrup is frequently used instead.

The original Sazerac was a grape brandy-based drink. More recent tradition defines that rye whiskey should be used. Bourbon is sometimes used in place of rye whiskey.

Some combination of several drops to several dashes of either one or both of Peychaud's Bitters and Angostura bitters are added.

The ingredients are added to an ice-filled glass and stirred until chilled. The mixture is then strained into chilled old fashioned glass. The serving glass is garnished with a lemon peel.

Historical information

A recipe for the Sazerac is listed in "Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em" by Stanley Clisby Arthur, published in 1937.

In March 2008, LA state senator Edwin Murray, D-New Orleans, filed Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac as Louisiana's official state cocktail. The bill was defeated on April 8, 2008. A recent amendment makes the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans — the alcohol-friendly city where the rye whiskey-based concoction originated and where residents are less likely than those in more conservative areas of the state to object to the designation.

Though the Senate approved the bill for New Orleans only, the House reversed the bill it to its original form. The Senate rejected the bill again, sending it to conference committee. The panel said it should be the official New Orleans cocktail and the Senate agreed. The House failed to concur. On June 23, 2008 the House proclaimed the Sazerac as New Orleans' official cocktail.

The "Professional Mixing Guide" produced by The Angostura-Whuppermann Corporation in 1957 contains an entry for the Sazerac, but not a recipe. Instead, it states:

"Out of respect for the property rights of others, no attempt is made herein to list any recipe for a Sazerac. Others have, on occasion, printed what proported to be a recipe for a "Sazerac Cocktail," but so far as it is known, the genuine recipe is still a deep, dark secret."

In popular literature

In W.E.B. Griffin's Honor Bound series Sazerac is a favorite drink of OSS agent Cletus Frade.

See also

* List of cocktails


* [ The Sazerac Company] - producers of Peychaud's Bitters and Herbsaint
* [ The Original Sazerac Cocktail] - Recipe from The Sazerac Company's page on Peychaud's Bitters
* [ The Sazerac Cocktail] on [ The Gumbo Pages]
* [ The Dos and Don'ts of Sazeracs] by mixologist and bartender [ Jeffrey Morgenthaler]
* [ Sazerac] on [ CocktailDB]
* [ Sazerac cocktail] history and recipe from []
* [] - Official Cocktail of New Orleans?
* []

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Look at other dictionaries:

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