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.)
Anatomy of a Classic
Building the Perfect BLT
Getting the details right adds up
to one beautiful sandwich
Food & Drink
The Garden & Gun Club’s Signature Pimento Cheese
Chef Ann Kim offers her punchy take on the Southern classic
Essential Southern Cocktail: Mint Julep
The Kentucky classic that deserves mixing beyond the Derby
Food & Drink
The Mad Scientist of Pawpaws
Largely the domain of foragers, the biggest edible fruit in the South has mostly been forgotten. A quietly obsessed Quaker from West Virginia has made it his life’s mission to change that
Food & Drink
How an Award-Winning Pastry Chef Doctors Up Boxed Cornbread
Even Kelly Fields whips up a box of Jiffy every once in a while. Here’s how she makes the store-bought stuff her own
Arts & Culture
The Top-of-2021 Reading List for Southerners
G&G contributors, editors, and Southern book lovers share new releases and old favorites to read right away this year—and a couple forthcoming releases already on preorder