If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that a Sazerac is Patrick’s favorite cocktail, even if it’s a rye cocktail instead of bourbon. Weird, right? But he likes them so much he even made Sazerac cookies. It’s become his go-to bar order, and he definitely will make you a Sazerac if you visit our house. Also Sazerac is still a really fun word to say. Anyway, while looking through the PDT Cocktail Book, we found the Staggerac, which is basically a Sazerac with bourbon instead of rye and the addition of Angostura bitters. Obviously we mixed one up.
If you’ve ever made a Sazerac, just make this the same way. In a mixing glass, add sugar cube and bitters, then muddle into a paste. Add bourbon and ice and stir until mixed. Strain into a lowball glass with an absinthe rinse.
We called this post “(Almost A) Staggerac” because Jim Meehan’s recipe in PDT calls for George T. Stagg bourbon. Since we don’t have that (and because it’s actually fairly difficult to find, being part of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection), we replaced it with Temperance Bourbon because it’s delicious and the highest proof bourbon we have. (Stagg is 140 proof, and this seemed important.) Unsurprisingly, this drink is super similar to a Sazerac. The bourbon and Angostura bitters add a little more compexity, since rye is usually a pretty one-note liquor. It’s an interesting drink, and definitely worth trying. We’ll stick to Sazeracs, though.
It’s no secret that Patrick’s favorite cocktail is a Sazerac (let’s ignore for now that it doesn’t contain bourbon). This variation on the Sazerac from 500 Tasty Sandwiches was a must-try for us, especially because Rachel acquired a taste for orange blossom water in Tunisia.
Orange Blossom 2 oz. Bourbon 3-4 dashes Orange bitters ½ oz. Simple syrup ¼ oz. Orange blossom water Splash of Absinthe
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a lowball glass with a large ice cube or ball. Garnish with an orange twist.
One of the reasons we love bourbon so much is that with so many different proofs and mash bills, it’s easy to find the perfect bourbon for any cocktail recipe. For example, this cocktail has a lot going on. We love its citrus freshness as well as its heavy floral notes, and we used a higher proof bourbon to offset these strong flavors. We recommend using thyme simple syrup to complement the herbal flavors of the absinthe.
We love Sazeracs. If you were a guest at our house, there’s a 98% chance we’d make you a Sazerac. Also, we love cookies, because we are humans. These Sazerac cookies from Tasting Table are pretty much perfect for us.
Sazerac Cookies 1¾ cups All-purpose flour 2 Tbsp. Corn starch ¼ tsp. Kosher salt 1½ sticks Unsalted butter, room temperature ½ cup Confectioner’s sugar 2 Tbsp. Rye ½ tsp. Absinthe ½ tsp. Peychaud’s bitters 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300°.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a mixing bowl then set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the rye, absinthe, bitters, and vanilla extract and mix. Add the flour and mix until the dough is a bit fluffy.
Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls. Set each cookie about one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking ban. Flatten each cookie slightly, to the shape you desire (the cookies don’t change shape much while baking). Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light gold color. Remove from oven and let cool.
These cookies are tasty. They’re like shortbread cookies with a little extra kick. We topped ours with a light dusting of nutmeg-allspice sugar. We of course highly recommend serving these cookies with a Sazerac.
A Sazerac is my second favorite drink to order at a bar (behind an old fashioned). Like the old fashioned, it’s a staple whiskey cocktail that I felt I needed to learn. It’s also the reason this short week turned into a sort of rye whiskey week. We picked up the Bulleit Rye specifically for this cocktail, and we even found a tiny “Sazerac-size” bottle of absinthe for it. Only a tiny amount of absinthe is used in this drink, so normal 750 ml bottle would last pretty much forever if we used it only for Sazeracs. Also, Sazerac is a really fun word to say.
Chill an old fashioned glass in the freezer or refrigerator (or fill a glass with ice if you want).
In another old fashioned glass, add sugar cube and saturate with a few dashes of bitters. Muddle until sugar dissolves. Fill glass with ice, add whiskey.
In the chilled glass, add a few drops of absinthe. (If you chilled it by filling it with ice, discard the ice.) Swirl the absinthe around to coat the glass, then discard the excess.
Strain the whiskey and bitters mixture into the absinthe-coated glass. Add lemon twist.
The result is a delicious whiskey drink that’s also a purty red color, primarily from the Peychaud’s. The absinthe is a necessity. If you ever order a Sazerac where the absinthe was left out, you’ll noticed the difference immediately (Herbsaint can be substited, though).
For more detailed directions on how to make a Sazerac, here’s Chris McMillan: