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How to Make a Sazerac: Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 1 min read

The Sazerac is a sweet, bold, and herbaceous cocktail that evokes the French Quarter of New Orleans.



Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana Teach MixologyLynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana Teach Mixology

World-class bartenders Lynnette and Ryan (aka Mr Lyan) teach you how to make perfect cocktails at home for any mood or occasion.

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What Is the History of the Sazerac?

The Sazerac is a whiskey cocktail from New Orleans and one of the oldest cocktails with American origins. The cocktail was invented by Aaron Bird as a way to promote a specific brand of imported French Cognac, Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils, which was mixed with Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe. Eventually, rye whiskey replaced the Cognac, mainly owing to an outbreak of the phylloxera pest in Europe, which destroyed grape crops and limited the import of Cognac to the United States. Absinthe was banned in the United States through much of the twentieth century so the local, New Orleans anise liqueur called “Herbsaint” was used as a substitute.

Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

1 cocktail
Prep Time
3 min
Total Time
3 min


  • 1 cube sugar
  • 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • ¼ ounce Herbsaint
  • 1 ½ ounces rye whiskey
  • Garnish with a lemon twist
  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes and let it chill.
  2. In a mixing glass or second rocks glass, use the Peychaud’s bitters to soak the sugar cube.
  3. Crush or muddle the sugar into the bitters.
  4. Add the whiskey to your glass of bitters and sugar.
  5. Empty the ice cubes from your first glass and use your absinthe or anise liqueur to coat the chilled glass, discarding any leftover.
  6. Pour the whiskey, bitters, and sugar combination into the absinthe-coated glass.
  7. Garnish with your lemon peel and serve.

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