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The Sazerac Cocktail

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The recipe is complicated, but well worth the effort. It's a definite winner.

<font color="brown"> Sazerac </font>

(From sauceguide to Cocktails, sauceguide volume 4)

glass: old fashioned

1 shot Absinthe

Top up with chilled water

1 shot quality bourbon

1 shot cognac

1/2 shot sugar syrup (gomme)

3 dashes Angostora bitters

3 dashes Peychaud's bitters


Fill glass with ice, pour in Absinthe, top up with water and leave the mixture in the glass. Separately shake Bourbon, Cognac, sugar syrup and bitters with ice. Finally (and this is the important part) discard the entire contents of the original glass (Absinthe, water, ice) and strain contents of shaker into empty Absinthe-coated glass.


This drink hails form the old days of New Orleans. At 10 Exchange Alley, John B. Schiller set up the Sazerac Coffee House - as he was the agent for Sazerac Cognacs, he made this cocktail originally with brandy. The Sazerac Company which developed from the Sazerac Coffee House now also markets Peychaud's bitters, an essential component of this drink and first made in 1793.

Sauce Guide Comment: Don't be concerned about chucking the expensive Absinthe down the drain... its flavour will be very eveident in the finished drink. Made correctly, this is a delightfully interesting herbal classic.


1. I used Absinthe as per the recipe but I did not discard the contents of the glass. I simply put them in a highball glass with a bit more water and my wife enjoyed an nice drink.

2. In the absence of Absinthe, one could attempt to substitute pernod or similar anise based apertif (possibly, although I have not tried this)

3. I didn't have any Remy available so I used a suitable french brandy substitute

4. I generally don't mix my bourbon, neither with other spirits, nor with sweet adjuncts. However, there's something about the origin of this drink, it's other contents, plus the source of this recipe ("sauce guide" to cocktails) that moved me to mix the drink for a friend last weekend and we both agreed it was great.

5. As Buffalo Trace was a sponsor for the Sauce Guide, this bourbon was identified as ideal for the drink. I did use Buffalo Trace with fantastic results.

6. For a more detailed article on the Sazerac, plus a couple of additional recipes, check here.



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My wife and I drank Sazerac's one evening in New Orleans -- in the Sazerac Bar. Wow! I've never made one at home but should.

I do prefer my bourbon straight but Sazerac's and a good mint julep are two exceptions for certain occaissions.

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You don't have to get too technical to enjoy a sazerac. Just coat your glass with with small amount of Absente or Pernod, add a dash of simple syrup,bitters and some ice, and 2 or 3 oz. of rye ( Old Overholt works well ) and enjoy.

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Although it was kind of implied, it should be pointed out that the Sazerac Company also owns Buffalo Trace.

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the recipe for the Sazerac, which is used in the Sauce guide, is that of Dale DeGroff. Dale's Website

The original recipe called for Sazerac Brandy, and later recipes call for American Rye. So Dale DeGroff combined them both. Dale also uses Angostura bitters as well as Peychaud's Bitters.


2 Dashes Peychauds Bitters

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 oz. Rye Whiskey

1 oz. VS Cognac

Splash of Ricard or Herbsaint

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

Take 2 rocks glasses, chill one while preparing the drink in the other. Splash the Ricard into the second glass and swirl it, then pour it out. Add the cognac, rye, syrup, and the two kinds of bitters. Stir with ice cubes to chill. Strain into the chilled rocks glass and garnish with a lemon peel.



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sorry, i should also point out that the Sauce Guide's Sazerac is Simon Difford's (the Sauce Guides Editor) rendition of Dale DeGroffs recipe.

Dale uses a less-sweet, though more volumous sugar syrup. More bars in England that use Gomme syrup, are usually using a thicker, and thus more sweet, syrup.


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