The Sazerac cognac cocktail has a long history and therefore a few variations. The name Sazerac comes from the brand of cognac, Sazerac de Forge et Fils, that was used to create the original cocktail. To confuse matters Sazerac is also the name of a bourbon company that makes rye whiskey that is also used in the making of the Sazerac cocktail.
The Sazerac, like the Vieux Carré, was born in New Orleans in the 19th century. The Sazerac is considered to be America’s first original cocktail with its origins dating back to the 1830’s. Antoine Peychaud, engaged in trade in the French Quarter as a pharmacist, invented the Sazerac in 1838. What makes the Sazerac a unique cocktail is the use of Messr. Peychaud’s own formulation of bitters that are added to the drink that includes cognac mixed and poured into an absinthe rinsed glass.
Goodbye Cognac, Hello Whiskey
In the late 19th century,phylloxera struck the vineyards of France and the cognac industry was devastated. In 1873, rye whiskey was soon substituted for cognac and New Orleans Sazerac drinkers continued to be served.
Today, the Sazerac is made with either cognac or rye whisky or both! In 2008, the Louisiana legislature declared the Sazerac as the official cocktail of New Orleans. The official version uses rye whiskey instead of cognac.
How To Make a Sazerac Cognac Cocktail
One of our favorite variations of the Sazerac is Rémy Martin’s recipe using its 1738 Accord Royal.
Here is Rémy Martin’s recipe and mixing instructions:
– Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal
– Angostura bitters
Muddle a sugar cube with 3 dashes of Peychaud’s and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Add in a few ice cubes and stir in 2 oz Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal® before straining into a chilled, absinthe-rinsed glass.
Here is the International Bartender’s Association recipe (note the use of cognac):
5 cl Cognac
1 cl Absinthe
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters