Last Call: The Sazerac


1. Begin by rinsing a chilled rocks glass with Absinthe.

2. Stir 2oz of Rittenhouse Bonded rye, 1 Tsp. of Turbinado Syrup, and 5 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters into a second chilled glass.

3. Strain the contents of the second glass into the glass rinsed with Absinthe.

4. Garnish with Lemon Zest.

The Sazerac is a classic cocktail named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac, which was the primary ingredient in the original concoction. It is sometimes referred to as America’s oldest cocktail, with its origins dating back to around 1850. You may have heard bartenders nowadays refer to this drink as “the cocktail old people drink when they don’t want to remember the next few nights of their life.”

For you non-bartenders out there, allow me to explain the ingredients and the reasoning behind their use. Around 1870 the primary ingredient was changed from cognac to rye whiskey due to an epidemic that devastated France’s wine grape crops. Rittenhouse began as a Pennsylvania brand that made its start after prohibition ended in 1933; however, like most other American ryes, it is now made in Kentucky. What makes this rye particularly special is that it is 100 proof, and not to mention, easy on your wallet.

Turbinado is a type of sugar with a brown hue (like Sugar in the Raw). Turbinado is added to cocktails to make them sweeter and to add to the overall color profile. If you do not have that handy, plain white sugar will do the trick.

Bitters, as you may have guessed, adds a bitter kick to craft cocktails, offering a unique flavor characteristic. Originally, bitters were used as a medicinal tonic but now have become a mainstay in cocktail bars around the world.

Lastly, we get to the absinthe, a green, anise-flavored spirit made from wormwood. This liquor is distinctly bitter, so for this drink you simply rinse your glass with it to get a slight taste and aroma into your flavor palette. Enjoy!