THE SAZERAC SHOW
With Ian McEwan
(“The Drunken Scientist”)
“Ask a Drunken Scientist!” That’s what we wanted to do. Don’t ask us why, because we have no reasonable explanation, but fortunately for us, we found Ian McEwan, and after a few cocktails he was willing to answer all of our questions from quantum theory to climate-change deniers to whether the U.S.S. Enterprise could beat up an Imperial Star Destroyer.
We also get into the history of the Sazerac cocktail, a sweet-and-herbal rye concoction invented in 1800s New Orleans ostensibly as a way for a local pharmacist to sell his bitters. (Man, have we really gotten that cynical?) If you ever wondered how Peycahud’s bitters got their start, listen up here.
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Or listen directly here!
DRINK ALONG AT HOME
- 2 oz Rye.
- 1/2 oz simple syrup or 1 sugar cube.
- 2-3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters.
- About 1/2 oz Absinthe — or Herbsaint — to rinse the glass.
- Lemon peel for garnish.
Tradition has it the Sazerac is created in two old-fashioned glasses. Chill one glass by filling it with ice. In the other, mash the sugar cube up with a few dashes of bitters (or just use simple syrup if mashing doesn’t agree with you.) Add the rye stir. In the other glass, get rid of the ice and give it a rinse of absinthe. Herbsaint will work if you can’t find absinthe, though let’s face it, if you can get your hands on Herbsaint, you can probably find absinthe with no trouble. Pour the rye mixture into the glass and add ice. Garnish with a lemon peel. Serve. Drink. Repeat.
By the way, when choosing a rye, you do not need to use the “official” Sazerac brand rye. Any smooth rye will do, or even an angry rye if you’re in the mood.
Original Brandy Sazerac Variant
The Sazerac was originally made with brandy, so it’s can be a fun experiment to mix one up using the classic wine spirit instead of rye. If you do, halve the amount of sugar or simple syrup you use, because brandy is sweet enough as it is. Serve with a sense of historical smugness.
Thanks to Topline Wine for the Rye Report!
Get your Peychaud’s Bitters!
And here’s a link to The Lawnmower Man, because you must never forget this chapter of our cinematic heritage.