The Booze Blog Portal - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

19 November 2014

The IBA Project: Sazerac

The Sazerac cocktail with Cognac.
The Grandfather Story:
  • Originated around the 1830s. 
  • Could've been America's first known cocktail.
  • Antoine Peychauds was an apothecary from New Orleans who created the now famous Peychaud's bitters, was said to have created the original Sazerac for a cure, not as a cocktail.
  • The drink is named after its original base spirit, a cognac named Sazerac de Forge et Fils.
  • It was originally a cognac based cocktail, but it seems like rye whisky is the popular base now. 
  • The reason for the shift to rye whisky was either 1) cognac suddenly became scarce due to a bug problem or 2) American whiskey was readily available and very popular (and also very preferred by its local drinkers) so it was used in everything then.
Fun fact: In 2008, New Orleans proclaimed it to be its official cocktail.

One glass for mixing, one for serving; both needs ice.
Strong, rough, spirity, masculine. Likely to cause chest hair growth, LOL. Not for the weak hearted, not for people who do not enjoy the taste of alcohol. The absinthe rinse on the glass lends a scent and taste of anise/licorice - something the Asian tongue may not be used to. What does anise taste like? Think... melted, liquid Hacks. This drink is definitely not for everyone.

IBA standard recipe & method:
5 cl Cognac
1 cl Absinthe
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe, add crushed ice and set it aside. 
Stir the remaining ingredients over ice and set it aside.
Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared glass, and strain the drink into the glass. Add the Lemon peel for garnish.

Two glasses and 1 girl.
  • Rye whiskey is the most popular base spirit if you Google the recipe.
  • There are some recipes that hails for Bourbon, then again there are others who taboo the use the Bourbon. I say YMMV.
  • You may use Angostura instead of Peychauds. Bitters is a MUST. Though purists will only use the latter.
  • You could use sugar syrup instead of sugar cube. (1 sugar cube roughly = 10ml syrup)
  • Any other pastis (Pernod. or Ricard. hehe) can substitute absinthe if absinthe is not readily available for you. At the end of the day, it's the anise scent and flavour you're after. Or how about melting some hacks hahaha kidding. 
  • If you're someone who cannot stand wasting alcohol, the absinthe can always be poured into a shot glass... and then chased after with the Sazerac. Seriously, try it.
  • It is NEVER served with ice. EVER.
  • Some writers suggest that you drop the lemon peel into the glass, some implore you not to because the lemon overpowers everything. Again, YMMV.

Thoughts & Observations:
  • This is the first IBA original recipe which I actually found palatable, yeay!
  • Stirring takes more or less 60 seconds to dilute the mix into a flavour I can palate.
  • I thought I would HATE this drink because I HATE absinthe, but it's surprisingly, okay. There's hardly any absinthe anyway. Just a hint of its smell and taste.
  • Rye whiskey is hardly readily available outside of the US anyway so I'll just stick to cognac la.
  • At the time I'm writing this, I'm nearly done with my glass and I can tell you, I'm feeling really woozy. This shit is super strong, no joke. Or I'm just a light weight.

Drink up!
My Preference:
50 ml Cognac
10 ml Absinthe
2 barspoon sugar syrup (about 10ml)
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura
1 lemon peel

Add crushed ice into old-fashioned glass.
Pour absinthe in. Leave it aside.

Get a 2nd rock glass and mix all other ingredients (except lemon peel) into  glass with cubed ice and stir. Taste as you go.

Before serving, pour out the absinthe from the 1st glass into a shot glass, remember to swirl the absinthe around the glass first. Strain the 2nd glass' contents into the first. Prior to serving, squeeze the lemon peel into this glass. Serve with the absinthe shot so the drinker has the option to do a little chasing.

Sources & for more:

Click me for the list of drinks that's been covered in the IBA Project