Aromatic and complex in flavor, the Sazerac is one of America’s oldest cocktails and a signature drink of New Orleans. The fact that it remains hugely popular around the Crescent City—a place known for storied bars and famous drinks and that boasts a booming, growing cocktail scene—is a testament to its excellence.
The drink gets its name from a cognac called Sazerac de Forge et Fils, which was used in early iterations of the cocktail; that cognac has since been replaced by whiskey—either rye or bourbon.
This classic is easy to make ahead in large batches, ready to pour for a group at a moment’s notice.
Big-Batch SazeracsBecause sometimes you need a round of cocktails at the ready.
The measured added water means that you don’t need to add ice cubes and shake before serving and ensures the perfect amount of dilution so that you can serve the cocktail straight up to your guests, right from the fridge.
A touch of Peychaud’s bitters (the traditional choice for Sazeracs) adds unique character to the cocktail, while rinsing the glasses with absinthe before pouring in the batched cocktail adds another layer of flavor.
Absinthe is an anise-flavored, bitter green liquor with an air of mystery. The strong, overproof spirit is made with botanicals including wormwood, which can cause hallucinations when consumed in very large amounts; modern-day absinthe has only trace amounts. Nicknamed the “green fairy,” the drink was popular with artists and writers including Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Hemingway, who chased the drink’s psychoactivity as a muse. A traditional way to enjoy absinthe is to pour it in a glass and then drizzle water over a sugar cube on a special absinthe spoon above it; this process sweetens and dilutes the strong liquor, while giving it an enchantingly opaque, milky appearance.