This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something but with no cost to you.

How to Make a Sazerac Cocktail

Want to try making the traditional Sazerac cocktail? All you need are five ingredients: Sazerac Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint, a sugar cube and a lemon peel to make New Orleans’ official cocktail!

Sazerac Cocktail - Louisiana

Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!

This cocktail is sponsored by:

LA Logo for web

Where the Sazerac was born

Although the city of New Orleans is home to many classic cocktails, there is only one that has the honor of being its official cocktail, and that is the Sazerac.

The Sazerac cocktail has an origin story that really spans hundreds of years. It starts with the word Sazerac first, which comes from a name of a family in the Cognac region of France. For hundreds of years, this family was distilling eau-de-vie in France, which we would call brandy or cognac. You might hear me say French brandy and cognac interchangeably, because when you talk about drinking in 19th century in New Orleans, they probably would have called it brandy, but sometimes cognac.

The drinking establishments in New Orleans at the time were called coffee houses and the Sazerac House opened in 1852. The Sazerac House was a place that you would go and you would order all of the different popular drinks of the time, including classic cocktails.

If you want to learn all about how the Sazerac came to be, then check out the Lush Life episode: How to Drink the Sazerac with Rhiannon Enlil, Sazerac House!

[mailerlite_form form_id=3]

Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!

How to make the Sazerac

The official Sazerac recipe is made by taking a tumbler, rocks glass or old-fashioned glass and filling it with ice to get it nice and chilled. In a second old-fashioned glass, you’re going to take a sugar cube (or simple syrup if you’re lazy) and muddle it with three dashes Peychaud’s Bitters. You’re muddling it basically so that the sugar dissolves.

Then in that same glass, you add an ounce and a half of Sazerac Rye Whiskey, and then you add ice cubes and you stir it until it’s chilled and diluted. Essentially from there, you take that glass that had ice in it to get it nice and frosty cold, you dump out the ice. Now you’ve got a chilled prepared glass. Strain your American rye whiskey, Peychaud’s sugar mixture into that chilled tumbler after it’s been rinsed with Herbsaint. It’s kind of a coated Herbsaint chilled glass that you’re straining it into, and then you garnish with a twist of lemon. It’s a pretty simple drink. It’s got five ingredients, but the ritual of making it is part of that story, and it’s part of the tradition in New Orleans. 

What are Peychaud’s Bitters

In the late 1800s, a guy named Antoine Amédée Peychaud was making his own version of bitters down the road from the Sazerac House. Peychaud’s Bitters was his proprietary blend of different botanicals and they’re unique from a spicy aromatic bitters in that there’s a really strong component of dried citrus notes and anise in this particular blend. We don’t have the recipe for Peychaud’s Bitters. It’s a very, very secret recipe.

Why use Herbsaint

Absinthe was wildly popular in New Orleans, because of their French heritage. New Orleanians still are much more appreciative of that anise flavor. In Europe, almost every country has some kind of anise spirit or an anise liqueur and the United States, for some reason, just kind of drifted away from that particular flavor.

Because absinthe was so popular with bohemians and artists, it was starting to get a bad rap and there was a long campaign of bad publicity backed by not real science and unfortunately, a couple of tragedies that made salacious news. Absinthe became a demonized spirit and it was banned in Europe and various countries. It ended up being banned in the United States in 1912. So suddenly it was no longer allowed to be brought in or consumed. And it stayed that way for almost a hundred years. The absinthe was banned all throughout the 1900s and into the early 2000s.

So we use Herbsaint as our absinthe substitute. That is the official rinse of the cocktail.

What tools you need to make the Sazerac

You won’t be needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, strainer, and chilled rocks glass for this original recipe.

You’ll need to stir this one quite a bit, depending on how boozy you like this. If you want it sweeter, you can always add a touch of simple syrup or demerara syrup.

Where to find more American whiskey recipes

Here are a few of my favorites:

Where to find the best Sazerac in the world

Of course, Sazerac House in the French Quarter of New Orleans! You find great Sazeracs at the Jewel of the South, which is a great courtyard bar and restaurant, as well as Peychaud’s Bar, where they make fantastic cocktails and have a beautiful courtyard.

Where to find ingredients for the Sazerac

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

Here is the recipe:

Sazerac Cocktail - Louisiana


Embark on a journey of flavor with the Sazerac cocktail. Rye whiskey, absinthe, sugar, and bitters dance in a timeless concoction, celebrating the essence of New Orleans.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 155 kcal


  • oz Sazerac Rye Whiskey
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • ¼ oz Herbsaint
  • Lemon twist


  • Take two old-fashioned rocks glasses
  • In the first one, add ice to chill and set aside
  • In the second one, muddle a sugar cube with the three dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey, then add ice and stir
  • Take the first glass, empty the ice and coat the glass with Herbsaint, then discard any excess
  • Strain the contents from the second glass into your Herbsaint rinsed glass
  • Garnish with a lemon twist


Serving: 1gCalories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 5gFat: 0.01gSodium: 0.1mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 4gCalcium: 0.04mgIron: 0.01mg
Keyword Sazerac
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


How to Make the Sazerac - Pin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.