Sazerac Cocktail

Base Spirit: Absinthe, Rye Whiskey

Type: Classics

Served: Neat/Up

Preparation: Stirred

Strength: Strong

Difficulty: Medium

Flavor Profile: Spirit-forward

About the Sazerac Cocktail

One of America’s earliest cocktails, the Sazerac is a homegrown New Orleans specialty. Peychaud’s Bitters are a key element and were created by Antoine Peychaud, a French Quarter pharmacist, who invented the cocktail in the 1830s. The Sazerac was originally made with cognac, but an insect epidemic destroyed many French vineyards and resulted in the lasting switch to rye whiskey.

Ingredients in the Sazerac Cocktail

Glass: Rocks

How to make the Sazerac Cocktail

Rinse a chilled rocks glass with absinthe, discarding any excess, and set aside. In a mixing glass, muddle the sugar cube and both bitters. Add the rye, fill with ice and stir. Strain into the prepared glass. Twist a slice of lemon peel over the surface to extract the oils and then discard.

This recipe is adapted from William Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them.

Watch top San Francisco bartender Erik Adkins make a proper Sazerac in our How to Cocktail video.


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  1. Note: A Sazerac is not at all like the color shown in the picture

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