The Sazerac was born in New Orleans as a brandied cocktail, but is now known the world wide as a rye whiskey cocktail.
During the mid-19th century, French vineyards became infested with phylloxera, a type of insect, in an event referred to as the Great French Wine Blight. European wine production was decimated, and Cognac brandy (also distilled from grapes) became harder and more expensive to find.
With brandy's rising cost and scarcity, bartenders began making the Sazerac with whiskey, and that tradition continues today.
At Handsome Hog, bar manager Trish Gavin uses Cody Road rye whiskey -- a lighter-colored spirit, but still one with spice and depth. A brown sugar-based simple syrup, and an absinthe rinse that has been infused with hickory smoke, add complexity and a smoky nose that helps this version of the Sazerac pair with a 'pig-centric' food menu.
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- ¼ oz (fat) brown sugar syrup *
- 3-4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- Rinse of Copper & Kings absinthe
- Lemon peel to garnish
* To make brown sugar syrup, heat equal parts brown sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Cool, and store.
Add a small amount of absinthe to a lowball glass that is filled with ice, and allow to sit.
In the meantime, combine whiskey, syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass, over ice. Stir to dilute and combine, for approximately 30 seconds.
Swirl ice/absinthe mixture around lowball glass to release botanicals, before dumping the ice.
Strain the contents of the mixing glass into the empty lowball glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Handsome Hog serves 'pork centric' menu from the kitchen, and cocktails with a southern influence from behind the bar.
203 E. 6th Street
St. Paul, MN