Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Sazerac

"These bitters, good for what ailed one, irrespective of malady..."
--from the back of the Peychaud's bottle

I like Peychaud's Bitters. I mean who wouldn't? They're good for any malady. I'm not, however, a fan of anise. I don't like black licorice or black jelly beans. There's something about the anise flavor of pastis in a cocktail though. In the Sazerac, the pastis and the Peychaud's are the secret ingredients. They tie the whole thing together. The anise is there, without smacking you in the face. The pastis brings complexity and nuance to what could be just (just!??) an old fashioned rye cocktail.

Here's a recipe I like to use for the Sazerac:

2 oz. Rye Whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1/8 oz pastis

Coat a chilled rocks glass with the pastis. Shake the rye, bitters and simple syrup over ice and strain into the rocks glass. Garnish with a twist.

I think the key to the Sazerac is subtlety. To get just the right amount of pastis, just rinse the glass in pastis and dump it out... simple, right? Some recipes call for bourbon whiskey, or a mixture of Peychaud's and Angustora bitters. I encourage you to try some variations, but for me this is the way to go. I prefer it with rye because the ingredients just seems to work so well together, providing a sense of tension and balance you don't get when you use bourbon.

It's flexible. It can be social and outgoing, or introspective and solitary. It underpromises and overdelivers. The Sazerac is a real classic.

Cocktail chronicles
is the sponsor of mixology Monday today. Everyone's talking about pastis today, so drop in over ther and check out the other posts.

If you want to learn more about Peychaud's, and cocktails in general, I recommend checking out "Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail." Volume 1 has an article about Peychaud's.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm extremely partial to Dale DeGroff's recipe:

splash of pastis
1oz cognac
1oz rye whiskey
1/2oz simple syrup
2 dashes peychaud bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon peel

Though it is a touch sweet.

4:02 PM  

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