Though the drink itself dates back to 1830s New Orleans (when it was made with cognac and absinthe), this 1940s version reflects the recipe’s evolution over the years, blending rye whiskey, bitters, cane syrup, and Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liqueur made in the Crescent City following the nationwide ban on absinthe in 1912. “The Sazerac is a perfect metaphor for a Southern gentleman,” says chef Paul Fehribach, who grew up just across the river from Louisville, Kentucky, in Indiana, and now serves heirloom Southern fare at Big Jones restaurant in Chicago. He turned to that recipe to inspire the one in his recently released The Big Jones Cookbook.
Cocktail Hour: Sazerac
The most classic of classic cocktails
photo: Margaret Houston
2 oz. rye whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1/2 oz. cane syrup [such as Steen's]
1 bar spoon Herbsaint
Orange, for garnish
Chill a rocks glass. Place 1 cup of ice cubes in a cocktail shaker, and add the rye, bitters, and cane syrup. Stir gently with a bar spoon for 10 seconds, then allow to rest on the ice for a few moments while you cut a fresh orange peel garnish and rinse the glass.
With a vegetable peeler, cut a fresh section of orange peel ¾ inch in diameter for the garnish, avoiding the white pith as much as possible.
Add Herbsaint to the chilled glass, give it a swirl, and pour off excess. Stir the whiskey mixture another 5 seconds more and strain into glass.
Garnish with orange peel.
Recipe from chef Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago, Illinois. (Reprinted with permission from The Big Jones Cookbook by Paul Fehribach, published by the University of Chicago Press. © 2015 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.)
Bloody Good Holiday Punch
A Bloody Bull is an even richer spin on a Bloody Mary. Make it batch-style, like one G&G writer’s family, and prepare to bowl over your party guests
Classic West Indian Punch
Think of this history-steeped blend of sweetened tea and rum as a template— and then tweak it
Quoit Club Punch
This blend of brandy, rum, and Madeira really packs a wallop
Arts & Culture
Vivian Howard Says Goodbye to A Chef’s Life
The chef, author, and television star reveals her favorite episodes—and previews her new show to come
Food & Drink
Five Secret Southern Ingredients
Tips and recipes for turning kitchen staples into winning Southern dishes
Arts & Culture
Southbound: A Photographic Look at the Modern South
The largest exhibition yet of twenty-first-century Southern photography tells a sweeping story of the region