A close cousin to the Old Fashioned, the Sazerac has been kicking around in one form or another since 1840. In 2008, it was crowned the official cocktail of New Orleans, a designation more suited to marketers than drink mixers. The truth is the Sazerac has always belonged to the Crescent City.
Up until the late 1800s, it was made with French brandy as a base—Sazerac de Forge et Fils, to be exact—before bartenders switched to rye, the spirit newly arriving by the barge-load down the Mississippi. A well-made Rye Sazerac is indeed a tasty thing, full of spice and depth, though perhaps, we think, a hair too much muscle.
Which is why Liquor.com’s house recipe combines equal parts cognac and rye, not as a gestural homage to a lost classic but because the two work together so perfectly. The coupling is a boozy yin-yang that when accented by the licorice flavors of absinthe produces a cocktail that’s simultaneously soft and bold, smooth and brash, and so unmistakably New Orleans.