Friday, September 29, 2017

Sazerac Rye Sazerac

I've been wanting to re-do the entry on the granddaddy of the cocktail, the Sazerac. For one, I felt that I hadn't quite figured out the presentation, the use of Pernod or absinthe rinse, and the mixing of the bitters. That is in part due to the directions in the recipe saying to build this drink entirely in the glass that it is served in. This means mixing the liquid and sugar in the glass with ice while washing off the absinthe rinse. And if you do it in a small Old Fashioned glass you tend to muddle the whole mess, ruining the distinct parts of the drink.

A Sazerac needs to have some ingredients mixed in and others left to contribute their scents independently. The liquor must be sweetened and bittered, but the absinthe or Pernod needs to cling to the sides of the glass to give it dimension. The lemon twist needs to be expressed on the ice, so the citrus scent has to be sipped past (and through the walls of anise scent) to get to the sweetened rye.

To make the drink this way, you really need to combine the liquid ingredients except absinthe or Pernod in a mixing glass and pour it into a double Old Fashioned glass with oversized ice. I've been doing Old Fashioned Cocktails this way for a while to keep them looking clean without bits of muddled fruit in them. Now Sazerac Rye has given me the excuse I need to update this post.

The Sazerac is the quintessential New Orleans cocktail, and Sazerac Rye and Peychaud's bitters are quintessentially New Orleans spirits. Originally the Sazerac was made with cognac, due to the French influence in Louisiana. The sweetened and bittered rye has the effect of turning rye into a rich and silky cognac-like spirit with the right hints of anise from the other French spirit, Pernod.
  • 3 oz. Sazerac Rye
  • 1/2 tsp. Pernod or absinthe (Absente Refined used)
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • lemon twist
Combine water, sugar and bitters in a mixing glass and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add Sazerac Rye and ice and stir to chill. Strain into a double Old Fashioned glass coated with the Pernod and add oversized ice cubes. Twist lemon peel over the ice and drop it in the glass. 

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