If you are going to New Orleans, by all means order up a Sazerac! The key to a good Sazerac is, well, perhaps there are two keys; the Peychaud's bitter and the absinthe. Now, a perfectly acceptable substitution for absinthe is Herbsaint. 

From Wikipedia: Herbsaint first appeared in 1934. It was the creation of J. Marion Legendre and Reginald Parker of New Orleans, who learned how to make absinthe while in France during World War I. It first went on sale following the repeal of Prohibition, and was unique in its category as an absinthe substitute, as opposed to a pastis. Herbsaint was originally produced under the name "Legendre Absinthe", although it never contained Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). The Federal Alcohol Control Administration soon objected to Legendre's use of the word "absinthe", so the name was changed to "Legendre Herbsaint". The Sazerac Company bought J.M. Legendre & Co. in June 1949. Herbsaint was bottled at 120 proof and 100 proof for many years, but the recipe was modified in the mid-1950s, when Herbsaint began being bottled at 100 proof and 90 proof.


Fill a highball glass with ice and water and set aside.

In another highball glass place a sugar cube and soak it with the Peychaud's bitters and the Angostura bitters and a splash of water. Don't be shy with the bitters. Three dashes of each should do the trick. Muddle all of this together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the whiskey and fill with ice. Set aside.

Empty the ice and water out of the other glass and pour in a little bit of the absinthe or Herbsaint. Coat the inside of the glass with the absinthe. Whilst in New Orleans I noticed that the bartender took the orange peel that you are going to squeeze into the glass and used that to rub the absinthe around the inside of the glass. Personally, I like this method. Pour out any excess absinthe. You don't need to empty it, but you don't want too much in the bottom of the glass.

Squeeze your orange peel into the glass and place the peel in the bottom of the glass. Strain the whiskey and bitters mixture into the glass with the orange. 



ounce rye whiskey
3 dash Peychaud's bitters
2 - 3 dash Angostura bitters
a splash of water
1 sugar cube
¼ ounce absinthe or Herbsaint
  • Sazerac
  • The bitters are the key!