Sazerac Cocktail

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PREP TIME 5 min

Cocktail Type

Whiskey

Great for

Dinner Party

Difficulty

Easy

Sazerac Cocktail

If you’re reading up on Sazerac cocktail ingredients, we’d like to welcome you to the very first page of known cocktail history. It is here that the mystery and magic of mixed drinks first started to unfold, so follow us on a jaunt down this most iconic memory lane if you please… 

QUICK TIPS

01

Choose a great rye whiskey with notes of spice and vanilla

02

Let the glass cool down properly to serve this drink nicely chilled

03

Give that lemon twist a real good squeeze to get the oils into the drink

INGREDIENTS

MAKE FOR

1 Person

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

0.5 Oz

15 Ml

0.5 Parts

absinthe or anise liqueur
1 sugar cube per cocktail
A few dashes of bitters per cocktail
To garnish, a lemon twist per cocktail
Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

01

Chill a rocks glass by filling it with ice and setting it aside as you prepare the rest of the cocktail

02

Soak the sugar cube with the bitters and muddle it in a mixing glass, crushing the cube

03

Add the Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey and stir

04

Take the ice out of your chilled glass and rinse it with a small amount of absinthe – swirl the liquor around and then discard

05

Pour the Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey mixture into the chilled, absinthe-rinsed glass

06

Squeeze the lemon twist gently over the drink to release its oils – some will use it as a garnish on the rim of the glass afterwards, but rarely drop it into the drink itself

History of the Sazerac – the world’s oldest cocktail

The story goes that the recipe for the Sazerac cocktail is actually the oldest known mixed drink recipe in the world. According to mixologist lore, we have New Orleans apothecary, Antoine Peychaud, to thank for what would become one of the world’s most popular whiskey cocktails. 

He was the inventor of Peychaud’s Bitters, which he mixed with cognac to create a signature ‘toddy’ the name for cocktails at the time. The Sazerac Coffee House (AKA saloon) in New Orleans picked up on the theme and started serving it under this name. This is how the first named cocktail came to be.  

Rye whiskey became the go-to liquor of choice in a recipe for the Sazerac cocktail around the 1890s, and in the 1980s, anise liqueur was substituted for absinthe, which was banned in the United States until 2007.  

What is the flavor of a Sazerac rye whiskey cocktail?

The first thing you need to realize when you learn how to make a Sazerac is that it is essentially a celebration of rye whiskey. This beautifully balanced drink uses the sweetness of the sugar and the complex notes of the bitters to build the cocktail and show off the character of the rye, so it’s essential to choose a good one. We love Wild Turkey Rye with its vanilla and spice notes, spicy citrus aroma, and long, supple finish. 

What’s the difference between an Old Fashioned and a Sazerac?

The Old Fashioned and Sazerac cocktails have a lot in common, but there are clear differences. An Old Fashioned is an example of a much-loved bourbon Christmas cocktail garnished with an orange twist, whereas a Sazerac is made with rye whiskey and garnished with lemon.   

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Old Fashioned and Sazerac cocktails have a lot in common, but there are clear differences. An Old Fashioned is made with bourbon and garnished with an orange twist, whereas a Sazerac is made with rye whiskey and garnished with lemon.

Sazerac was the name of a 'coffee house' AKA saloon in New Orleans that first served the eponymous cocktail. Bartender Thomas H. Handy who later bought the bar started a liquor business that would grow into the Sazerac Company, which now produces Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey in his honor.