Register Recipe: The Sazerac

Our Sazerac's Key Ingredient

I’m very excited to share this cocktail with everyone for two reasons: 1.) It’s one of my favorite cocktails. I can’t quantify how many variations I play around with at home. 2.) The key ingredient has returned to our liquor shelves!

Welcome back, St. George’s Absinthe Verte! Locally produced in Alameda, this absinthe captures the essence of the unhallowed threesome: fennel, wormwood, and star anise. It’s quite strong, registering at 120 proof, which helps immure the aromatics. If you’d like to enjoy it neat, mimic our friends the Scotch connoisseurs: add a few drops of water. Water allows more flavor compounds to escape from their alcoholic prison, giving your nose an enhanced and more complex experience. Even adding an ice cube will do the trick—it’ll also make the absinthe turbid (or “louche”).

Absinthe adds its flavors to cocktails potently when mixing, so it’s easy to overwhelm a drink with absinthe. Therefore, most recipes call for a drop: not a dash, or a splash, but a drop. This minute amount of liquid comes with a grand amount of flavor. The Sazerac, a classic cocktail born in the late 19th century, is traditionally prepared with two glasses. One glass receives an absinthe rinse, the other is used to mix the remaining ingredients. The glasses are combined, and the Sazerac is enjoyed.


  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1  1/2 ounces rye or American whiskey
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Dash of absinthe (can substitute Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard)
  • Twist of lemon peel


  1. Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Put the sugar cube in a second Old Fashioned glass with just enough water to moisten it, then crush the cube.
  2. Add the rye, the two bitters, and a few cubes of ice, and stir. Discard the ice from the first glass, and pour in the absinthe.
  3. Turn the glass to coat the sides with the absinthe; then pour out the excess. Strain the rye mixture into the absinthe-coated glass. Twist and squeeze a lemon peel over the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel, discarding when finished.

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