Classic Cocktail: The Sazerac
A straightforward whiskey drink flavored with a hint of bitters, a little sugar, and a whiff of absinthe
The Sazerac from Cure in New Orleans
Most modern barkeeps worth their shakers consider this aromatic cocktail the classic of classics—a straightforward whiskey drink flavored with a hint of bitters, a little sugar, and a whiff of absinthe. Though it’s usually made with rye, Kirk Estopinal of Cure gives a nod to the Sazerac’s historical predecessor with a smooth brandy-based variation that features Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, a vintage blended to mimic the flavors of early nineteenth-century New Orleans.
2 oz. Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac
¼ oz. demerara sugar syrup (2:1 sugar/water ratio)
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes absinthe or other anise-flavored spirit (Herbsaint or Pernod)
Twist of lemon
In a glass or Boston shaker, combine cognac, sugar syrup, and bitters over ice and stir for roughly 30 seconds with a long-handled bar spoon. In a pre-chilled rocks glass, pour in the absinthe and swirl to coat the interior, pouring out any excess. Strain the cocktail into the glass, squeeze the lemon twist over the drink, rub the peel side onto the rim, then discard the twist or plop it in the glass.