View Full Version : A Sazerac Sazerac
I decided I was going to have a Sazerac or two tonight, so I broke out the ingredients and made one with 6yo Sazerac Rye. As before, I added some Regan's Orange Bitters along with the Peychaud's, with 1/4 tsp. of Herbsaint pastis.
The Rittenhouse Sazeracs I had last time were good, but this is even better - the extra complexity of the Saz Rye shows up in the drink - but even the Rittenhouse version is yummy. The sweet/bitter/spice/licorice combination is nicely woven together.
By the way, I recently saw premade Sazerac Cocktail bottles - and the bottle indicates that the mix uses bourbon and brandy (but not in what proportions, nor which ones). I'd presume BT or a BT brand for the bourbon, in any case.
This might be a bit contentious in present company but as far as I'm aware the original sazerac cocktail was made with cognac, it was brought to america by french colonists and then when they ran short of their base spirit, turned to the local one, which at the time the irish and scots settlers were producing from rye. A blend sounds interesting but I'd make sure that they are doing it for quality rather than to just satisfy both camps.
V. jealous of your 2(sazerac), might have to go find myself a bottle to try it. I've got on my menu a rye sazerac with a barspoonful of creme de banane stirred in, sacriligeous I know but don't judge me till you've tried it, its sublime.
The authentic and correct Sazerac Cocktail recipe is on the Sazerac web site.
The excessive use of Herbsaint or other absinthe substitute will overpower the whiskey. And Peychaud's is the only bitters called for in the "correct" recipe. Of course you can make it any way you want but for the authentic and original....
IMHO Sazerac Rye 18 makes a superb Sazerac Cocktail, but then I may be a little biased. (Here comes the disclaimer.) My company, SPAR, Inc., designed the package, as well as the rest of the Antique Collection, Saz Jr, and Buffalo Trace to name a few.
Yes, the very first Sazerac was made with cognac. The Sazerac company that made the cognac in France is still in business, BTW, and has no modern relation to the Sazerac Company in New Orleans. As the Americans took over New Orleans from the French, the drink was made with rye from Kentucky. That is also when the French word used for the Sazerac, coquetier, was changed to "cocktail". To my knowledge, since then it has always been made with rye. (This may all be old news here, so forgive me.)
This is a great forum, BTW!
Well good job ya'll do then. Those bottles you just metioned are raved about quite frequently here as some of the best bottle designs ever.
Yes, great packaging design. We applaud your work and many of us have very many samples of it.
BTW, purchasers of investment-grade rye might be interested in making their Sazeracs with the painstakingly researched and reproduced, and expensive, absinthe from Jade Liqueurs.
[I am not in any way affiliated with these guys, but it's an interesting story.]
After I hiatus I started making Sazeracs again. Due to the historical angle, I decided to use 50% brandy, 50% bourbon, 2 absinthes (available in Canada but you can use Pernod or anisette or any anise-based liquor), triple sec for the sugar element and Peycheaud's bitters. The orange in the triple sec effectively makes the bitters orange bitters, a recognised type, if I needed the validation (which I don't :)).
The result was just superb. (It always is, but that is because if initially it is not I can fix it). The brandy was the best of the line of St-Remy (not Remy Martin), i.e., I used French brandy, not cognac brandy, costing about half of what Knob Creek goes for here. For the bourbons, half KC, half Beam White (and the bottle of Beam White earlier had added to it a jigger of Baker's).
I got this to a super-flavourful yet soft as butter drink, round and full from the brandy and bourbon cousins, slightly candied, with a fine bitter orange tang and faint anise taste in the background. The amount of sugar can be easily controlled through the addition of the triple sec or syrup or what have you.
I can see how it would be great just with straight rye alone (say, Thomas Handy or the Sazerac 6 year old rye) but the complexity of blending good brandy and bourbons offers a unique twist.
By the way I think I know now why rye usurped what more logically would have been bourbon in the drink (i.e., once French brandy was no longer available). It was because the rye came to New Orleans from further away than bourbon would. Therefore, all things being equal, rye whiskey was likely to be the most aged of the indigenous production. This assumes more rye came from Pennsylvania than Kentucky, but i think that is a fair assumption especially as the 1800's wore on.
Since the brandy would have been dark and sweetish - long shipment would have assured that, anyway brandy history shows that brandies aged 6-10 years were in commerce at the time - a native drink was needed meeting this requirement.
Monongahela red rye was selected (I theorise) which again had an increasing reputation through the 1800's and one which preceded bourbon's.
Possibly, the tang of rye was felt to go better in the drink than bourbon - I can't rule that out.
I think ORVW 13 year old rye would make a fine Sazerac too, possibly blended with any good VSOP cognac.
I just made another batch, this will be in Chicago (in a pint Bulleit bottle).
50% is Beam bourbons from different eras: current Beam White and KC and '58 and '66 Beam's Choice (respectively 15 and 8 years old).
The other 50% is brandies, 60% St-Remy, 40% a premium version of Grand Marnier (made with all-cognac).
The sweet element is triple sec (made I just noticed by Meagher in Canada (i.e., Hiram Walker or Beam again - not Cointreau). The Grand Marnier also contributes a dulcifying element.
The bitters are both Angostura and Peycheaud.
The anise is from Pernod.
It is Franco-American cooperation at its best. A few weeks of co-habitation in the bottle will just make it better.
Attempted my first Sazerac today:
1/4 oz. anise abstract (didn't have any of the anise-flavored drinks)
splash cold water over anise
Poured into a Maker's Mark julep highball glass, with three medium ice cubes then added:
1-1/2 oz. Rittenhouse BIB rye
1-1/2 oz. Paul Masson California brandy (didn't have a Cognac open)
1/2 oz PAMA (in lieu of simple syrup)
6 dashes Angostura bitters
Alas, I really don't know what it's supposed to taste like, but I'm quite enjoying it. I'm thinking this will be perfect for a hot, summer day (it's 88 in Middle Tennessee this March 25!).
That sounds excellent, you have some pomegranate flavor added but that shouldn't matter. You can taste mine in Chicago, Tim, it now almost fills a regular-size Jim Beam White bottle. Same plan though as what I mentioned yesterday (half brandies, half bourbons mixed, triple sec for the sweet, bitters, Pernod). I find this one a bit sweeter than some I make and probably than some people will like but no problem there: just add a dash of bourbon, rye and/or brandy and it dries down nicely. Originally this cocktail was taken without ice (a number of manuals still specify this).
By the way the drink needs a moderate (at least) sweetness: it won't taste right otherwise.
In other words, Tim, your essay, while technically faultless, could perhaps stand a little more sweetness. Just a suggestion. Pama is not that sweet (relatively).
I follwed the directions from the sazerac website. Fill a tall boston glass with ice and water to chill, then dump it out. I swirled anise based liquor in the chilled glass to give a good, yet background , notes to the cocktail, and then dump that out as well. I also finished with a generous twist of lemon , just spraying the oils on the surface. I have had good results with saz. jr and saz 18 yr.
Leebo, dude your killing me!! That sounds so good I want to go home right now and make one.
Thanks for the directions, I will be giving this a try.:grin: :grin:
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