Thursday, June 14, 2012


There are stiff drinks and then there are STIFF drinks.  I love stiff drinks, but STIFF drinks, well that's another story.  The STIFFEST of all sipping drinks in my opinion is the Sazerac.  

I could go on and tell you the history behind this drink and inform you how it was originally made with Cognac, but you can look all that up if you wanna delve deeper.  I just want to briefly share my experience with this juggernaut. 

A few years ago, Lilly and I walked into Cole's.  We went looking for The Varnish but when we found it, they had a thirty minute wait.  So, we walked over to Cole's Red Car Bar and since I had heard that they excelled in making classic cocktails, I decided to order 2 that I had never tried before.  

Umm, 1 Old Fashioned and 1 Sazerac, please.  I told Lilly, I would let her taste both and she could keep her favorite.  Well, she tasted the Old Fashioned and thought it was way too strong.  Then, without even tasting the Sazerac, she looked at it, then looked back at me, giving me a stare as if to say, Are you f'ing kidding me!?"  "What? I didn't know!" I told her.  "I'm sorry!"  Needless to say, I ended up having both drinks.  Well, by the time we went into The Varnish, I was already toast. 

That was my first experience with the Old Fashioned and Sazerac.  The Old Fashioned I fell in love with and it has since become my go-to drink.  On the other hand, the Sazerac has officially become my liquid courage drink and my FML drink all rolled into one.              

When properly made, this beast looks akin to a shot of some sort.  But make no mistake about it, it's a sipper.  You want to savor every last bit of it.  The first thing you'll notice is the licorice and citrus aroma.  And once you get a taste of the cocktail, you will get the sting of the spicy 100 proof rye with the undertones of Peyshaud and Angostura Bitters.  

The Sazerac is a simple and straight forward drink but with much depth and complexity.  It is harsh, yet refined.  I understand it is not for everyone but I also acknowledge that somehow this drink was meant for me.        

The Sazerac.

The cast of characters.

The recipe.  I used Pernod instead of Vieux Pontarlier.

Not just theatrics, the oils from the flamed lemon peel adds aroma to the drink.

Ya, just a couple of these and things will definitely start to look sideways.

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