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  1. #1
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    Sazerac Cocktail

    Inspired by Tim's tasting of straight ryes I thought I'd make a Sazerac. This is a New Orleans cocktail which has been made with different spirits in its history but is mainly associated with rye whiskey.

    I decided to use Royal Reserve, the Corby's Canadian whisky I mentioned earlier. This has Lot 40 (straight Canadian rye) in it - what Corby's put in, and what I added on top.

    I took a glass, rinsed it in absinthe (legal in Ontario - you can use pastis or any other licorice liqueur in the States). I threw out the absinthe (a light throw, leaving about a 1/4 oz. in the glass). I added a teaspoon of maple syrup for the (essential, I find) sugar component. You can use plain sugar syrup or possibly Southern Comfort or another sweet element.

    I tossed in the Lot 40-spiked Royal Reserve.

    Dash of Peychaud's bitters. Dash of Collins orange bitters. No ice, per the original recipe and practice in the posh hotels in New Orleans (where I've never been, but never mind).

    Swirl (hard) in the big Jim Beam glass.

    Contemplate.

    Sip.

    Ambrosia.

    Gary

    P.S. You can try this with any straight rye (or combination thereof) but the flavors will be commensurately more intense.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    Sounds wonderful!

    Tim

  3. #3
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    It was, but Tim, didn't you once say (if I am not mistaken) you have never tasted rye whiskey??

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    Or putting it a different way, maybe I have a convert. The margin between rye and bourbon is not as clear as may seem the case, products such as Grandad 114 and Bulleit sort of straddle the boundary. They would be suitable for the Sazerac Cocktail no less than a good Canadian or rye whiskey. Interestingly, brandy was the original spirit used (Sazerac Cognac, which is still made). The Royal Reserve Canadian whisky I mentioned is a brandy-like drink and maybe that is why it worked well with the Sazerac. But any good rye-edged whiskey will do, and adding a teaspoon of maple syrup or brown sugar adds a brandy/caramel-like taste, in which the hints of the bitters and anise liqueur come through. Cocktails is something I've never really focused on except for two or three classic whiskey cocktails but I can see how they developed from a whiskey tradition. On the other hand, one can argue that a very good whiskey does not need cocktail treatment, it is rich enough and complex on its own. I have argued earlier here that cocktails may have been invented to improve the taste of indifferent whiskey. But it is no less true to say that good whiskey makes a good cocktail.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    True, but you all make it sound so good and I believe you.

    Tim

  6. #6
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    And as you probably know, I am a rye-bourbon devotee, favoring OGD and Wild Turkey bourbons over most others. Rock Hill Farms is my favorite of all time (although I have only had it once). And I am usually unimpressed by wheaters.

    Tim

  7. #7
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    Personally Tim, I enjoy the rye whiskey palate but I can see why blended whiskey took off in areas where rye was dominant. It is such a big flavour that unless moderated in some way (through blending and use in cocktails) relatively few people will drink it. This did not happen to bourbon but bourbon is more approachable than rye, its lower rye content means the rye "tang" is minimal (just as it is in a Canadian blended whisky). The answer is to experiment by adding small amounts of rye whisky to bourbon, say, or to Canadian, to get a smoother but rye-edged palate. Rye is so pungent in taste that relatively small amounts will flavor a drink well. And it does make a great cocktail. I am planning to set out a jug of either Sazerac or Manhattan cocktail at the next Gazebo and will show people (and invite their help) as to how I build these drinks.

    Gary

  8. #8
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    As a prelude I sat in the Sazerac Bar at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans (formerly the Roosevelt Hotel) several years ago and enjoyed their version of the famous Sazerac cocktail. I believed they used Herbsait in place of Absinthe. I believe I recall seeing a version of Absinthe in the U.S. without wormwood oil. For those not familiar with it, the essential oil of wormwood (which if consumed alone could kill) contains a chemical very similar to THC as is in cannabis. The original recipe for the Sazerac and other cocktails using original Absinthe are credited with 'assisting' various artists and writers. I believe in French it is called the "green fairy."

    Anyway, I prefer to use simple syrup as a sweetner for a Sazerac.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Gary. A Sazerac should be made with rye whiskey as you say -- though some establishments (even pricey ones) use bourbon.

  9. #9
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    Hi Gary,
    You didn't say how much Rye to use, I am guessing 2 oz. Is that right? I plan to use WT Rye in my first Sazarac. I have a bottle of Absiente I picked up the other day. I will have to use Cointreau for orange bitters.
    Ed

  10. #10
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    Re: Sazerac Cocktail

    I'm not sure on Gary's opinion here but if I were making a Sazerac and didn't have orange bitters I wouldn't use Cointreau as an attempt to replace it, I'd just leave it out. Though the Peychaud's is pretty much a requirement.

    However as a disclaimer: I will often put a dash of Cointreau in my manhattens, and as such I see no reason not to put a dash into a Sazerac, it could (or more likely will) work quite well. If I had both Cointreau and Orange Bitters, they may well both make it into the drink.

 

 

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