Posts Tagged ‘bitters’

The Sazerac

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

2 oz. rye whiskey
1 lump (or tsp) sugar
1/4 tsp pastis
3-4 dashes Peychaud bitters
1 lemon twist

Coat the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with the pastis, pouring off any excess. Muddle sugar and Peychaud bitters with a few drops of water (less than 1/4 tsp), or use simple syrup. Stir rye in an iced shaker to chill and strain into glass. Twist lemon peel over drink to release its oils.

Despite an abiding fondness for the Old Fashioned, I had not until now sampled the Sazerac, its close relative and one of New Orleans’ signature cocktails. In part, I blame this shortcoming on a perpetual lack of ingredients: I prefer Scotch for neat drinking and Bourbon for mixing, particularly dislike the anise flavors of pastis (Absinthe, Pernod, Herbsaint, etc), and have never owned a bottle of Peychaud bitters because, well, its raison d’être these days is the Sazerac. Fortunately, my recent commitment to stocking a broader bar means that I now have a bottle of Pernod to employ when a pastis is called for, and a bottle of Peychaud on the general principle that I should find more uses for bitters. I picked up some Old Overholt Rye just today, and in the Sazerac I have found ample justification for keeping all three in constant supply.

If you like an Old Fashioned, you will very much enjoy a Sazerac. If you’re not one for short whiskey drinks, this may not be for you, though I would encourage testing that assumption. If you dislike licorice and anise, don’t be put off — the rye seems to mask the aspects of anisette that I find objectionable, and yet the drink is much more complex than straight rye with a bit of sugar. There must be undertones to the Pernod and Peychaud’s that emerge from this venerable synthesis, because there is a honeyed cherry fruitiness to the Sazerac that makes all the difference in the world.

Others have written on the subject better and more extensively than I could hope to, and I direct attention in particular to Chuck Taggart’s excellent appreciation of the Sazerac from his Gumbo Pages site. In print, the recently published vol 1. of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail contains a biography of A. A. Peychaud by Phil Greene, touching in many places on the Sazerac’s 170 year history.

Pisco Sour

Saturday, March 12th, 2005

1 1/2 oz. pisco
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 egg white
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake well with ice and strain.

This Pisco Sour is a lovely, silver, frothy affair thanks to the egg white. It’s mighty refreshing as well — not at all too sweet. Don’t omit the Angostura unless you absolutely must, as it adds a welcome complexity to the drink. The recipe above is from CocktailDB. Other recipes call for making a blended drink of it, but as with the Ramos Gin Fizz, I prefer to shake-and-strain for a shorter, smoother, less watered-down drink. I also just don’t like blenders much. They harsh my mellow.

I made the above with Alto del Carmen Reservado, a Chilean pisco. Note that Peru lays claim to originating pisco and there’s a bit of kerfuffle between the two countries regarding just whose traditional beverage it is and where Chilé gets off calling their stuff pisco, what with the eponymous city of Pisco being Peruvian and all.

Bismarck

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

2 teaspoonfuls Vanilla Cordial in Sherry Wine glass.
1 yolk of an Egg covered with Benedictine so as not to break the yolk.
½ Wineglass Kuemmel.
1 light dash Angostura Bitters.

The colors should be kept separate and great care exercised to prevent the ingredients from running together.

Knabenschue – Country Club Style

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

Use a small stone Mug; Lump Ice.
1 lump Sugar.
2 dashes Angostura Bitters.
Fill with Champagne.

Stir well; dress with fresh Mint and serve.

Baldy Cocktail

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

Use a large Mixing glass with Lump Ice.

1 jigger of Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.
1 pony of Orange Juice.
1 Dash of Orange Bitters.

Shake; strain into Cocktail glass and serve.