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Classic Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Happy Hour: Classic Sazerac

What do the hurricane, bourbon milk punch, and the Ramos gin fizz all have in common? They all hail from the great cocktail town of New Orleans, and are all good options for celebrating Fat Tuesday in style. But if you're a sucker for classic, spirit-forward cocktails like I am, then there's only one way to celebrate Mardi Gras: with a classic Sazerac.

I've enjoyed Sazeracs in many iterations: served on the rocks or straight up in a martini glass, with the Sazerac brand of whiskey, and even with fruit infusions. Mark my words, though: the most perfect version of a Sazerac is this minimalist one from my friend Sam Treadway, bartender at Boston's Backbar.

I reached out to Sam to find out what makes his Sazerac so memorable. As it turns out, the Big Easy cocktail has a special place in his heart, so he gives it plenty of due attention. "It needs nothing too fancy," he told me. "Just lots of love, because it's my favorite drink."

See his recipe when you keep reading.

Classic Sazerac

From Sam Treadway, Backbar, Somerville, MA

Classic Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1 sugar cube
  2. 8 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  3. 1/4 ounce of water
  4. 3 ounces Old Overholt Rye
  5. Pernod Absinthe
  6. Ice
  7. Lemon peel

Directions

  1. In a mixing glass, soak the sugar cube with bitters and water. Using a wooden muddler, muddle until you achieve a paste; add in Old Overholt, rinsing off the muddler with the rye whiskey. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Chill by adding ice and stirring well with a bar spoon.
  2. Using a spray bottle, coat a chilled rocks glass with absinthe, spritzing all around the inside of the glass. Strain the rye whiskey mixture into the rocks glass.
  3. Twist the lemon peel to release its oils, and rub the peel, pith side down, along the rim of the rocks glass; discard the peel.

Makes 1 drink.

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