I love New Orleans.
I first went to the city as a freshman in college and I’ve since been back twice, but all those trips were before I was a bartender — and long before I had an interest in classic cocktails and modern mixology.
Today marks the founding of the city of New Orleans.
New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.
Many of the cocktails we associate with the city came some time later, but any reason to celebrate is reason enough!
The Sazerac is sometimes referred to as the oldest known American cocktail, with origins in pre–Civil War New Orleans, though there are much earlier published instances of the word cocktail.
Before rye whiskey, the drink was made with cognac. When absinthe wasn’t allowed, a liquid called Herbsaint was used for the absinthe rinse.
Some recipes call for equal parts cognac and rye whiskey with whatever rinse is available, a blending of the original recipe and how it’s now come to be made.
- Sugar (or simple syrup)
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Absinthe rinse
Chill a rocks glass. Give it an absinthe rinse, using only a few drops of absinthe!
Stir the following and strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass: 2 oz rye whiskey, .25 oz of simple syrup and 2 or more dashes of Peychaud’s bitters.
Rub a lemon peel around the rim of the glass and discard. The drink does not get a garnish.