Sazerac Cocktail: A Classic New Orleans Cocktail You Need to Try

Classic New Orleans Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Discover the rich history and bold flavors of the Sazerac Cocktail, a timeless New Orleans cocktail that combines rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters for a truly unforgettable drinking experience.

Step back in time to 1934, just after Prohibition ended, when New Orleans pharmacist J.M. Legendre introduced a spirit that would change the cocktail world forever. His creation, initially called ‘Legendre Absinthe,’ was designed to satisfy the city’s craving for anise-flavored drinks after the 1912 absinthe ban.

This innovative spirit, later renamed Herbsaint, became a crucial ingredient in the iconic Sazerac cocktail. Over the years, Herbsaint’s formula evolved, but its importance in New Orleans cocktail culture remained constant.

Today, cocktail enthusiasts can enjoy a taste of history with the revival of the original 1930s Herbsaint formula. This vintage-style spirit offers a gentle, floral anise flavor with herbaceous complexity, making it perfect for classic cocktails like the Sazerac.

The Sazerac, often hailed as one of the first true cocktails, is a New Orleans original that embodies the spirit of the Big Easy. This potent drink combines rye whiskey, absinthe (or Herbsaint), and Peychaud’s bitters, served in a rocks glass without ice for a truly unique experience.

One sip of this hazy, lusty cocktail will transport you to the heart of New Orleans, where good times and great drinks flow freely. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or simply looking to expand your drinking horizons, the Sazerac is a must-try classic that never goes out of style.

The Sazerac is more than just a drink; it’s a celebration of New Orleans’ vibrant cocktail history. Every element, from the choice of rye whiskey to the distinct aromatic bitters, plays a part in creating a harmonious blend that is both bold and refined. Mixing a Sazerac is an art, involving careful preparation of the glass with absinthe, ensuring that each sip captures the essence of its storied past. So, raise a glass to tradition and enjoy this iconic cocktail that continues to captivate palates around the world.

Sazerac Cocktail: A Taste of New Orleans History


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 or 4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • A few drops water
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (such as Sazerac Rye)
  • 1 teaspoon Herbsaint, Pernod, pastis, or absinthe
  • Lemon peel


  1. Start by chilling an old fashioned glass or small tumbler in your freezer. This step ensures your Sazerac stays cool and crisp.
  2. In a mixing glass, combine sugar, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a few drops of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the rye whiskey, then fill the glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the mixture.
  3. Remove your chilled glass from the freezer and add Herbsaint, pastis, or absinthe. Swirl the glass to coat the inside thoroughly, then discard any excess. Strain the whiskey mixture from your mixing glass into the prepared serving glass. Finish by twisting a piece of lemon peel over the drink to release its oils. Now, sit back and savor your perfectly crafted Sazerac!
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
166 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 166
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 32%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 9mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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