Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Sazerac Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

August 9, 2023


The Sazerac cocktail has a rich history dating back to the 19th century in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is considered one of the oldest known cocktails in America. The drink was originally made with cognac, but later rye whiskey became the main ingredient due to the phylloxera epidemic in France.

  • Created by Antoine Amedie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary
  • Originally served in a small egg cup called a 'coquetier'
  • Official cocktail of New Orleans since 2008

How Sazerac Tastes?

The Sazerac is a complex, strong, and slightly sweet cocktail with a hint of bitterness. The combination of rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud's bitters creates a unique, herbal flavor profile with a smooth, velvety finish.

Interesting facts about Sazerac

  • The Sazerac is named after the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac, which was the original main ingredient
  • The Sazerac Bar in New Orleans is famous for its Sazerac cocktails and has been serving them since the 1930s
  • The Sazerac is sometimes referred to as the 'ancestor of all cocktails'


Recipe. How to make Sazerac Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, muddle the sugar cube with a few drops of water until dissolved
  2. Add the rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, and ice to the mixing glass
  3. Stir the mixture until well chilled
  4. Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with absinthe, discarding the excess
  5. Strain the whiskey mixture into the prepared glass
  6. Express the lemon peel over the drink and discard or place it in the glass as garnish

Pro Tips

  • Use a fresh lemon peel for the garnish to get the most flavor
  • Chill the glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer
  • Muddle the sugar cube thoroughly to ensure it dissolves completely

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What you could change in Sazerac

  • Rye Whiskey: Can be substituted with Bourbon
  • Absinthe: Can be substituted with Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
  • Peychaud's Bitters: Can be substituted with Angostura Bitters, but the taste will be slightly different

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sazerac

What is the best time to enjoy a Sazerac?

While it can be enjoyed anytime, the Sazerac is traditionally consumed as an 'apéritif,' a pre-dinner drink meant to stimulate the appetite.

Is there a specific type of Rye Whiskey that is recommended for a Sazerac?

While any quality Rye Whiskey can be used, some brands like Sazerac Rye or Rittenhouse Rye are often recommended due to their robust flavor profiles.

How should the Absinthe be 'rinsed' in the glass?

Pour a small amount into the glass, swirl it around to cover the interior, and then discard the excess. This imparts a hint of anise flavor without overpowering the drink.

What does 'express the lemon peel' mean?

To 'express' a citrus peel means to twist or squeeze it to release the essential oils onto the surface of the drink, adding aroma and flavor.

Is it okay to double strain the cocktail?

Yes, double straining is a technique used to filter out any remaining ice shards or solid particles from the cocktail. This can result in a smoother drink.

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Extra information to help you make Sazerac

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

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Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

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