How to Make a Classic Sazerac Cocktail

Let the good times roll after you make a classic sazerac cocktail

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The Sazerac is yours for the making all year long, not just on Fat Tuesday. It’s refreshing enough to compete with a spritz during the warm summer months, and also perfect for colder weather. Even if you’re not a whiskey fan (which breaks our hearts), you might still find yourself swooning over a Sazerac. After all, many consider it to be America’s first cocktail. Also, it’s just very delicious!

Born in the New Orleans bar scene in the 19th century, a traditional Sazerac recipe calls for absinthe, rye whiskey, simple syrup and Peychaud’s bitters. This stiff cocktail has a sweet, spicy and herbal taste made for savoring. But like most classic cocktails, the Sazerac has many variations—you can use Cognac instead of rye, add your own bitters and even switch the absinthe for anise liqueur. We recommend starting with the recipe below. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.  

Sazerac Recipe

  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Total: 8 minutes
  • Serving: Makes 1 cocktail



  1. Rise the glass. Pour a small amount of absinthe into the old fashioned or cocktail glass to coat it. Then pour out the excess.
  2. Combine the ingredients. Add the whiskey, simple syrup and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds until chilled.
  3. Pour. Place your strainer over the top of the shaker and pour the mixture into the absinthe-coated glass. 
  4. Top it off. Cut a thin piece of fresh lemon peel and twist the peel between your fingers with the yellow side facing down over the glass to release the juice onto the surface. Then throw away the peel.
  5. Enjoy. Sit back, relax and let the taste set in—and the good times roll.

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