Saz me

1 Jan

Says me. Saz me. I could not resist.

I like that I like bourbon. Is that weird? It’s like an ego thing. Now at least the people that doubt my taste in booze when I say I hate alllll beer can be comforted by the fact that I like bourbon.

I found out I like Bourbon because I enjoy absinthe (in a cocktail, anyway) and ordered up a Sazerac one day. Holy moly, that was a stiff drink. After sending it back because I tasted zero absinthe (it supposedly had been “misted” with absinthe but I think the bartender’s interpretation of “mist” was to hold the bottle near the drink and maybe hope the scent would transmit somehow), I really enjoyed it and was surprised to find out it was mostly bourbon.

But there is more-oh yes!

I liked the aesthetic.

How I like a Saz is half-taste, half the-whole-thing. The glass. The name. The lore. The experience. Priceless? Not really but who cares.

I tried a few different iterations of Sazeracs at home to concoct the perfect one. Perfect for me, anyway. My first attempts were seen on the Gruel here. Unlike my perfect Camparied up Cosmo I came up with, the Mo-ellen, my Saz recipe is not just for the beverage, but for the whole process.

First let’s break down the elements of this liquid refreshment.

Base alcohol: bourbon, rye, or (in The Ultimate Bar Book’s version for the original sazerac), cognac. Cognac? Apparently when the drink started in France that was the beverage of choice. No, no, and no. I do like cognac but bourbon makes it better. Rye is ok, but I think bourbon makes the smoother blend.

Sugar type: simple syrup, sugar cube or sugar. I say cube. Aesthetics, people. If you even think “agave” you need another drink.

Absinthe method: shake, swirl in glass and discard extra, or stir. I say swirl but don’t dump! What a waste of pricy liqueur. And I like a little stronger taste of it. At least sip the excess straight. Straight up absinthe-youcan do it! After all you are a badass who likes bourbon now.

Bitters: peychaud, angostura or both.
I like mostly peychaud with a dash or so of angostura.

Mixing/serving: stirred, shaken, rocks, or up. I don’t like drinks on the rocks usually, but I liked a cooling element so now is time for the fancy giant cube. I actually molded mine by lining an espresso cup with plastic then filling and freezing. Ran under hot water to get out and voila!
Giant cube:

So bespoke.
Extras: water, lemon juice, lemon twist
I favored just a touch of fresh-squeezed lemon juice for brightness, as well as a twist.

Now I give you my recipe for

The Sazerac Experience
Giant ice cube
Sugar cube
Peychaud bitters to saturate sugar
A couple dashes Angostura bitters
Scant tsp. absinthe
2 oz. good bourbon
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
A lemon peel twist
Have that big cube ready in the freezer. Select your glass. I’m still on a hunt for the perfect old-fashioned glass for me. I’d like one slightly more slender than the standard with a good weight to it. You want a glass that says bad-ass mixed with elegance. Until I find mine, the one that feels best in my hand, I’m enjoying my glass with a skull on it.
Add absinthe and swirl to coat sides. If you don’t love absinthe you can get rid of any excess after this. I say keep it. Add sugar cube. Saturate the cube with the bitters. The extra absinthe comes in handy to get the sugar dissolving. Shake the bourbon and lemon juice with ice then strain into the glass. Add giant ice cube and really swirl. The sugar cube should really be dissolving. Now run the lemon twist around the top of the glass and drop it in. Ahhh. Savor that sucker. Now the real reason for the sugar cube. When you get to the bottom of the glass some of it will be left and you can dip your pinkie in and taste the sugar-y, bitters-y goodness. The drink’s dessert. Maybe it’s uncouth but absinthe is the drink for creative sorts who don’t play it safe. Who refuse to conform. Saz me.

7 Responses to “Saz me”

  1. milkandhoneyontherun January 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Wow girl you are so knowledgeable about mixed drinks 0.0 My grandma fell in love with pina colada while in Mexico so me and my dad tried to make it at home. Didn’t quite turn out that well and that’s such a basic drink 😦 Sigh I have so much to learn haha!

    • Ellen January 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Not sure how good a thing it is that I’m getting to know alcohol so well, haha. No, its ok. I actually don’t usually finish my drinks if i don’t have company so i don’t think I run the risk of being alcoholic. Good luck on the piña colada, I’m not a coconut fan so I’ve never made one but they look pretty:)

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Rufina January 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I want one! Skull glass and all. And I like the phrase sugar-y, bitters-y goodness. Sounds like another definition of bad-ass mixed with elegance… 🙂

    • Ellen January 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      And you can have it all! Well, I’m not sure where you could find the skull glass-I got mine at the grocery store during Halloween, but the bitter-y sugar-y goodness is doable:)

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Heide M. January 10, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Wish I had a sip of this.

    • Ellen January 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      I hope you get a chance to make one. Good stuff, it is…


  1. It’s art! OR For the love of soggy bread: Milk toast, part deux « Scrumptious Gruel - January 15, 2013

    […] if sugar. Rarely am I not feeling it particularly after an evening that involved imbibing a sazerac. For the love of absinthe. Now rinse that foil. Because you are going to recycle it. This is your […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: