Let's talk for a moment about my favourite cocktail: Dating back to the 1850s New Orleans, the Sazerac is a simple mix of Whiskey, Sugar, Water and Absinthe. It's cocktails like the Sazerac which caused patrons to ask for simpler whiskey cocktails to be prepared 'The Old Fashioned way', and such coined the name of the most classic cocktail of all time. Whilst since debunked, another rumour persists that the egg cups or 'Coquietiers' used in their preparation are responsible for the origin of the word 'Cocktail'.
Originally made with the Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils cognac from which it derives its name, a pest epidemic in 1970s France forced the bars of New Orleans to turn to local ingredients, and Rye Whiskey became the new spirit base. With Cognac back in full force, in my opinion the best Sazeracs are prepared with half Rye and half Cognac.
Traditionally a nightcap, the Sazerac is a heavy drink best sipped on a porch or in front of a fireplace. When a craving hits I make no qualms about using Jim Beam Rye and Black Bottle Brandy, but if anything is going to show off your good stuff, it's this.
The Sazerac requires an absinthe rinse. To rinse, simply swirl a teaspoon of absinthe around the glass and then pour out the excess. If you think this is the drink for you, it's well worth throwing some absinthe in an atomiser, and giving the inside of the glass a couple of uniform sprays.
1oz Rye Whiskey
3 Dashes Peychaud's Bitters
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
0.5oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Absinthe
Rinse a brandy snifter with absinthe.
In a mixing glass, stir Rye, Cognac, bitters and simple syrup with ice.
Twist a lemon peel over the glass and brush the skin side across the rim and stem of the glass. You can threw the peel in the drink or leave it out.
I prefer out.