America's First Cocktail
Is it any surprise that America's first cocktail, the Sazerac, was created in New Orleans, the city that loves to party?
Back in the early 1800's, Antoine Peychaud created the drink in a French Quarter bar and named it for his favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1870, the drink was changed when American Rye whiskey was substituted for cognac, and a dash of absinthe was added by bartender Leon Lamothe, and today he is now regarded as the Father of the Sazerac. In 1912, absinthe was banned, so Peychaud substituted his special bitters in its place.
In 1893 the Grunewald Hotel was built in the city, and at this time the hotel earned the rights to Ramos Gin Fizz and the Sazerac. In 1965 the hotel was renamed the Fairmont Hotel.
Today, the Sazerac is best enjoyed in many of New Orleans' finest restaurants and bars, most notably the Sazerac Bar in the Fairmont Hotel, where celebrities, locals, and tourists enjoy the drink.
- 3-4 dashes of Herbsaint (120 proof)
- 2 oz. Rye of Bourbon blended whiskey
- 3-4 hearty dashes of Peychaud bitters
- One long, thin twist of lemon
- Sugar cube, water, club soda—optional
Place Herbsaint in a well-chilled Old Fashion glass. Tilt glass to coat sides completely and pour off excess Herbsaint. Place Rye and Peychaud bitters into cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into prepared glass. Twist lemon peel over drink and drop in gently.