Organic Sazerac Cocktail (Gather)

Sazerac Cocktail 25 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. (Florida Crystals Organic Sugar Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (Organic Blood Orange and Hibiscus “tincture”)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (Espirito Organic California Brandy)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled, add 1 dash Absinthe (Anise, fennel, and wormwood tincture) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

I first heard read the words of Mr. Alex Smith on the forum pages of the Chanticleer Society.  At the time he was working at the Thirsty Bear and it sounded like he was doing some interesting things.  I sent him a, “Hey there!” note and suggested that it would be fun to stop by. Some time went by. Of course I didn’t make it to Thirsty Bear before he had departed that venue.

Alex’s BIO: i was born into a rich family, given up for adoption and eventually adopted into a poor family. this unfortunate turn of events pretty much set the tone for the rest of my life. for someone who sees suffering and disappointment as much an everyday part of life as air or water, i seem to manage just fine. i usually wake up happy and go to sleep happy; it’s just the time in between that tends to get to me.

i was diagnosed as an idiot savant at an early age, managed to complete high school despite my extracurricular interests and fell in love with alcohol soon thereafter. i started to use cocktails as an outlet for my artistic creation a few years ago, channeling my frustrations through the sieve of my mental affliction.

currently, i find myself managing Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco and tending bar at Gather in Berkeley. my dog has cancer, my mother is insane & i am deeply in love with a talented & beautiful young woman who pretty much doesn’t want me in her life. some people sing the blues… i make cocktails.

then i drink ’em.

my contribution to Erik’s great Sazerac project of 2010 is an all-organic/biodynamic version. 2 oz of Espirito biodynamic brandy, few dashes of blood orange tincture, . 25 oz organic simple syrup (1:1) and a rinse of “absinthe” tincture. finished with a squeeze of lemon zest which was then tossed away.


Recently, I heard he was working at a new organic and sustainable restaurant in Berkeley called “Gather” and also Smuggler’s Cove here in San Francisco. The schedule worked out better for us to meet at Gather this time around.

What the? All organic? How? Where? Let’s take a look at some of the “about” information from Gather:

Transparency. Got a question about where something came from or why it’s in a dish? Ask the host for a copy of “The Source Book”— an index that traces the lifecycle of every ingredient served at Gather. From spices and oils to animals and vegetables, we’ve researched how it got to us and where it went along the way. Same goes for the materials used in our restaurant. Every ingredient, material, and action we put forth has been thoughtfully considered.

Wow! How do you start a bar program at a place like this? I have almost no idea where most of the ingredients in 90% of the spirits I work with come from. Talking to Alex, they have chosen to use exclusively organic spirits and liqueurs for the bar. But wait, is there an organic vermouth? Nope. Orange Liqueur? Nope. Green Chartreuse? Nope. Whiskey? Nope. Ack! The basic staples of drink mixing, which we all take for granted, and they have access to none of them. Ouch! What they don’t have, they are trying to come up with. Hardcore.  Kind of reminds me of all the old bar manuals I have read, where they include instructions for making just about anything, including the “Spirits”.

Well, fortunately, there are organic sugar, organic California Brandy, and organic flavoring tinctures. So it was sort of an Orangey Sazerac. Ballpark, anyway, and quite tasty.


And, uh, damn it! I didn’t take a picture of the Sazerac!  Exactly another reason I need Mrs. Flannestad’s help in these endeavors.  Get caught up in chatting and/or drinking and forget to document the drink I am there to try.


I did, however, remember to take a picture of the “Pegu Club” Tina made for me using Cap Rock Gin, Organic Orange Liqueur, organic Lime juice, and flavoring “tinctures”.  Nicely refreshing and tasty!  I also tried the vegan “charcuterie” which I quite enjoyed.  Looking forward to getting back to Gather again, to see more of what they are up to with the other things on the menu.

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.