I had intended, in light of Mardi Gras, to do a whole New Orleans week. It was supposed to start with this cocktail, the Sazerac, and then move on to some other classic New Orleans dishes. Unfortunately, this week ran away from me and I didn't make gumbo, king cake or etouffes. Sorry! But at the end of week I did throw together this Sazerac, and let me tell you, at the end of this week I needed a cocktail like this - one that will knock.you.out. The Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans and contains nothing but alcohol, no juices or sodas to dilute it. I thought it would be too strong for me, but it is really nice. Something to sip slowly. I think this Sazerac was really helped along by the wonderful Rye Whiskey I used - from Bulleit. I chose it solely based on its hipster name and pretty packaging. Lucky for me, it is a buttery mellow Rye and I can't wait to use it in more cocktails. The recipe after the jump.
Put ice cubes in a old fashioned class to cool the class down. In another old fashioned glass, muddle the sugar, bitters and rye until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the ice cubes from the other glass. Splash in the Pernod (what I used, Herbsaint is the New Orleans classic but I couldn't find it), swirl it around the glass to coat it. Pour in the rye mixture. Some people say that the lemon peel shouldn't touch the drink but it should be bent so that the oils in the peel lightly flavor the drink. I just threw the lemon peel into the drink. Easier. Enjoy.