It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Original Sazerac

It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Original Sazerac
Our weekly recommendation.

You only need to spend about ten minutes exploring the cocktail scene before someone introduces you to the Sazerac, one of man’s true gifts to his fellow man.

As we mentioned in passing in that previous episode of “It’s Friday … Have a Drink,” before the Sazerac was made with rye and pastis, it was made with brandy and absinthe. Mr. Antoine Peychaud, creator of the eponymous bitters without which a Sazerac just isn’t a Sazerac, used to have guests over. He’d mix up a bunch of his bitters with sugar and Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac, and serve.

So, today we’re bringing the 50s back. The 1850s, that is, and working with a brandy base for this cocktail. I like to use the good stuff for Old Fashioned-style drinks (which really hilight the base spirit), so I went with a nice bottle of cognac. The French brandy brings a completely different set of flavors to the drink than rye does. A lot more fruit notes, a lot less wood and spice. It mixes very well with the bitters and the absinthe to create a cocktail that’s just as tasty as the Sazerac we’re all used to. Give this one a shot!

Rinse a chilled rocks glass with absinthe and discard the excess. Combine other ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into the rinsed rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website,


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  • Reply March 20, 2015


    Lip-smackingly refreshing!

  • […] Suggested Cocktail: Cognac will work beautifully in any brandy-based cocktail, but it’s especially at home in one of the most venerable of the bunch, the Old-School Sazerac. […]

  • Reply April 9, 2015


    This is a delightful drink to pair with a robust cigar. This is a sweet, spicy and wonderfully aromatic drink. Thank you for sharing, I greatly enjoy these articles.

    • Glad you enjoy them. Been a long time since I had a good cigar — I used to have a preference for maduros, and I bet this would indeed go great with one!

      • Reply April 9, 2015


        That’s exactly what I was enjoying… a maduro with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper (one of my favorite types).

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