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The Sazerac

Alanna Hale

Servings: 1

Sometimes it’s helpful to think of a garnish in an uncommon way.  Consider the absinthe rinse found in a traditional Sazerac cocktail as an aromatic garnish that’s placed underneath the drink. It incorporates into the finished product but also retains some aromatics along the inside collar of the glass.  The classic methodology is to pour a small measure of absinthe into the glass, swirl it, and then dump it out, which coats the glass evenly, but is also a waste of absinthe and is slightly messy. This version uses an atomizer filled with absinthe to neatly and evenly coat the inside of the glass.

This recipe is excerpted from The Bar Book. Read our review.

Visit our Drinks & Entertaining page for more classic cocktail recipes.


  • 2 fl. oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 tsp. 2:1 simple syrup (see tip)
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Absinthe (in an atomizer bottle) for garnish
  • 1 lemon peel for garnish


  • Stir the whiskey, simple syrup, and bitters together in a mixing glass. Add ice cubes and stir until chilled. In a frozen rocks glass, spray absinthe until the entire interior surface is evenly coated. Strain the cocktail into the glass, twist the lemon peel over the surface, and discard the peel before serving.


To make 2:1 simple syrup, combine 16 oz. granulated sugar and 8 oz. (1 cup) water in a small saucepan. Gently heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and promptly remove from the heat once all the sugar is dissolved. Stored in a sterilized bottle, the syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • MissPat | 03/09/2011

    I believe that the original Sazerac was made with Rye rather than Bourbon.

  • Stephen_Brown | 03/09/2011

    Real sazeracs are made with rye whiskey not bourbon!

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