If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping an old-fashioned Sazerac, you know why this classic New Orleans cocktail has become such a beloved tradition. But have you ever stopped to consider the rich history behind this delightful creation?
The exact origin story of the Sazerac remains somewhat unknown but it is believed to date back as far as 1830s when Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud created his own version of a brandy toddy – served in an egg cup called a “coquetier” – using a locally produced cognac from France.
Sometime later, another local bartender, Leon Lamothe, would rename the concoction after a French brand of bitters called “Sazerac de Forge et Fils” and added absinthe for its distinctive flavor. This iteration quickly gained popularity among locals and even earned its own signature glass — with rings embedded around the base to mimic swirling eddies.
In 2008, the Louisiana state legislature officially declared the Sazerac as New Orleans' official cocktail — cementing its place in local culture and lore. And while some recipes may vary over time - typically calling for ingredients like rye whiskey, sugar syrup and bitters - one thing remains clear: when crafted right, there's no better way to enjoy a special occasion than with a glass of well-made Sazerac!