For a refreshing adult beverage that sets the tone for an evening of fine cigars and gaming, consider one of the original cocktails — the Sazerac. This beverage, made famous in New Orleans more than a century ago, is simple to make but complex on the palate.
- Rocks glass
- Crushed ice
- Simple syrup
- Peychaud’s bitters
- Rye whiskey
- Lemon peel
- Coat the inside of the rocks glass with absinthe; pour out any remaining absinthe.
- Fill the glass half-way with crushed ice.
- Add 1 tsp. simple syrup and five dashes of bitters to the ice; mash together.
- Add 2 oz. rye whiskey.
- Stir; garnish with lemon peel.
The Sazerac may sound odd; mixing syrup, rye and a dash of absinthe seems like a taste disaster in the making. However, the syrup and bitters cut the harshness of the rye, and the small amount of absinthe adds just a hint of green anise that, when taken with the syrup, makes a beverage that is refreshing.
This drink was the featured beverage at the February “Evening of Cigars and Cocktails,” and the five gentlemen who sampled it were uniformly pleased — even those who despise the taste of licorice.
Sazeracs are easy to make, but old-school respectable. Master them to impress your guests.
* Note: The Wikipedia article on this drink actually isn’t too bad.