How to Make Our Master Distiller’s Favourite Cocktail

The Sazerac cocktail was born in the mid 1800s at The Sazerac Coffee House, in New Orleans. This timeless cocktail delivers a complex, herby experience to the palette, armed with notes of allspice and orange.

In its earliest form the Sazerac was made with Cognac however it soon had to adapt following the 19th century brandy shortage, bought about by the destruction of European vineyards at the hands of the Phylloxera epidemic. Rising from the ashes of its predecessor, the modern Sazerac was born. With Cognac removed from the speed rail, New Orlean bartenders flocked to playing with rye whisky as a substitute base. Whilst notes of pear and apricot may have been lost in the evolution, a new experience highlighting the presence of smooth vanilla was born.

Our favoured ingredient for a Sazerac, our Oxford Rye Whisky Easy Ryder, is a blend of nine unique casks, including American Oak of varying toasts, chars, sizes and cooperages, and finished in a Moscatel Roxo cask for its sweet, fresh flavours. The result? It’s creamy with notes of pastry, chocolate, refreshing spice and a pronounced savoury character, coupling perfectly with our Absinthe; the two merging seamlessly to make a perfect Sazerac.

Another unique thing about this cocktail is its traditional lack of garnish. Your bartender will express the oils of a lemon ribbon or coin, bringing in those citrusy flavours but will then discard the garnish. Although a vital component, citrus takes a back seat to the complex flavour profile brewed by the Absinthe, Rye Whisky and Peychaud’s Bitters. Another classic way to serve this concoction is without ice but our Master Distiller, Francisco Rosa, prefers his with a large rock of ice and in a glass that has been sprayed with Absinthe before the cocktail meets the glass.

Sazerac Ingredients

  • 50ml Oxford Rye Whisky Easy Ryder (or any Oxford Rye Whisky you have on the shelf)
  • 10ml Absinthe
  • 10ml Sugar syrup
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Orange and lemon peel (one of each)

Sazerac step-by-step recipe

  1. Fill the cocktail shaker and rocks glass with ice
  2. Place 50ml Oxford Rye Whisky in the shaker (feel free to tailor according to preference)
  3. Add 10ml Sugar Syrup
  4. Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters, followed by 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  5. Stir down over the ice
  6. Discard the ice from the rocks glass
  7. Pour 10ml of absinthe into the chilled glass. Swirl the absinthe to coat the sides of the glass. Discard the remaining absinthe
  8. Strain the shaker ingredients into the chilled glass
  9. Express the oils from the orange and lemon peel and discard the peel
  10. Serve with a large cube of ice
How to make a Daiqui-Rye

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