The Sazerac – A New Orleans Drink

The Sazerac – A New Orleans Drink

I must admit right off the bat that the Sazerac is not a drink for me. I tried a couple sips from the Sazerac’s that Eric ordered while we were in New Orleans. (Check out my trip in full detail here, here and here!) The cocktail is quite strong since it consists almost entirely of rye whiskey, but my husband loves it and I am sure other rye whiskey lovers will appreciate it as well! I haven’t actually tasted my attempt of this Sazerac, but Eric exclaims that I have mastered it! I now must make all future Sazerac’s for him… luckily I enjoy playing bartender! 

Here’s a little history about the cocktail!

The Sazerac was originally made with cognac brandy and was served at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. Somewhere around 1870, in the change of hands of the bar ownership, the main ingredient changed to rye whiskey due to the phylloxera epidemic in Europe that devastated the vineyards of France.

In June 2008, the Sazerac became New Orleans’ official cocktail!

Now for the making of this cocktail!

We bought Sazerac Rye when we were in New Orleans, but I read online that you can use any rye whiskey. For this recipe I am using the Sazerac we brought back, along with Absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters, sugar, ice and lemon peel. 


I put the rye and sugar into a shaker and dissolved the sugar. Then I added the ice and shook the ingredients together for 30 seconds to ensure they were icy cold and the rye mixed with the sugar well. 


I took a bar spoon full of Absinthe and put it in a chilled tumbler glass. I rotated the glass around so the Absinthe coated the entire inside of the glass. This is called an Absinthe rinse!

I poured the chilled rye/sugar mixture into the Absinthe rinsed glass and then added the Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters. Next I peeled a piece of lemon peel, rubbed it along the edge of the glass, twisted it and dropped it into the cocktail. And voila! Sazerac!


The Sazerac


  • 1.5 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 tsp sugar or a sugar cube
  • ice
  • 1 bar spoon of absinthe
  • 2 dash Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Lemon peel


  1. Put rye whisky in a shaker and add sugar and let dissolve.
  2. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds to ensure everything is mixed well and chilled.
  3. Add one bar spoon of absinthe to a chilled tumbler glass and rotate glass to coat inside of glass with absinthe. Discard any remaining absinthe.
  4. Pour chilled rye/sugar mix into absinthe rinsed glass. Add both bitters.
  5. Peel a piece of lemon peel and use it to rim the glass. Twist the lemon peel and drop into the glass.
  6. Enjoy!



There are other variations of the Sazerac and I just happened to find one that is interesting and creative from Simple SeasonalBlueberry Maple Sazerac 

Are you a rye whiskey drinker?

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