Sazerak cocktail

Sazerac cocktail: the recipe for the ancient drink born in New Orleans

The Sazerac cocktail is an official IBA drink based on cognac, bitters and absinthe that was born in the mid-19th century in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is one of the oldest cocktails in the history of drinks, prepared with cognac, a sugar cube soaked in absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters, ingredients that will give a magical note to the drink. Furthermore, the “green fairy”, as absinthe is defined, will add a particular and irresistible scent to this high-alcohol cocktail: serve it as an after-dinner, always to be drunk in moderation.

It is said that the ancestor of the current Sazerac was a drink made by a Creole pharmacist, who moved to New Orleans in the mid-1800s. It is Antoine Amédée Peychaud, inventor of aromatic bitters, who served customers mixed with the cognac and other liqueurs: real invigorating potions, very much in use in those days. Absinthe will be added to the ingredients at the end of the 19th century, making this drink even more intense. Here’s how to make the Sazerac cocktail at home.

Ready in: 10 minutes


COGNAC 50 ml
ICE CUBES as required

How to prepare the Sazerac cocktail

Put the ice in a low tumbler, let it cool (1) and add the absinthe: swirl the glass, so as to distribute it on the walls of the tumbler, then add more ice. Put the sugar cube previously soaked in the bitter in another glass and work it with the pestle and a few drops of water. Add the ice and cognac (2). Throw the ice and absinthe residue from the tumbler and pour the drink, filtering it. Decorate with a lemon peel. Your sazerac cocktail is ready to serve (3).


For best results, it is important to leave only a thin layer of absinthe, otherwise, it could compromise the balance of the drink.

You can give a more citrus note to the cocktail by crushing the lemon zest on the cocktail.


A variant of Sazerac is prepared with rye whiskey instead of cognac: a version that was born after the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, due to the scarce availability of cognac.

Another variation is the New York Sazerac which is made with cognac and whiskey in equal parts.


Drink your Sazerc immediately after preparation.

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