Sazerac Cocktail (Death’s Door White Whiskey)

Sazerac Cocktail 12 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.


Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (10ml* Rich Simple Syrup**)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Death’s Door White Whiskey)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

*Woops, briefly degenerated into using the “barspoon” measure. Sorry about that.

**Double Whoops. I make “Rich Simple Syrup” by adding 2 parts sugar, (usually Florida Crystals Natural Cane Sugar,) by volume to 1 part of water. Heat it over a very low flame, not boiling or even simmering, stirring until the sugar dissolves. You can actually dissolve it without heat, but it takes more patience than I have.

So what is a Sazerac?

I’m gonna say that the method is more determinative of the drink than that actual ingredients.

Over the years, starting from Chuck Taggart’s writeup on his Gumbopages website, I have a “simple” six step process for every Sazerac I make.

1) Chill the serving glass with crushed ice and water.  Learned this trick from Jackie Patterson, crushed ice chills the glass much more effectively than cubes.
2) Add the Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, and syrup to the mixing glass.
3) Add ice to the mixing glass and stir for, uh, as long as it takes. Minimum of 30 seconds with big, dry ice. Less with small, wet ice.
4) Dump the crushed ice and water out of the serving glass and add a few dashes of absinthe. Swirl to coat the glass and dump out excess.  Some people like to toss the glass up in the air and shout, “Sazerac!” at this point.
5) Strain the chilled booze into the serving glass.
6) With a vegetable peeler, cut a fresh swath of lemon peel, twist it over the glass, rub it along the edge, and drop it in.  Some frown on dropping the peel into the Sazerac, but when I don’t customers often ask where the lemon peel is. Apparently, they like to see it floating in the drink. It does give more lemon impact to the flavor of the drink itself.

With all the press and excitement around unaged Whiskies these days, couldn’t skip mixing a Sazerac with one!

So how about dat dere Death’s Door White Whiskey in a Sazerac, ya hey?

Not bad at all.  And funny, the Sazerac it has the most in common with is the Bols Genever Sazerac. There’s a nice malty character to both spirits, and the Bols Genever is so subtly spiced that you might have a hard time with a Blind tasting with it and the Death’s Door Whiskey.  At least in a Sazerac.  The Whiskey does have a little more heat on it than the Genever.  Still, a fine and enjoyable beverage.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.