Official cocktail of New Orleans by proclamation of the Louisiana House of Representatives, the Sazerac is a happy little whiskey drink whose “authentic” recipe is argued to distraction and no simple conclusion. Everything from the glass it’s mixed and served in to the proper brand of bitters is fuel for bartender and imbiber alike to debate with sincere vehemence. I will not add to that fire by claiming my recipe is authentic, because it’s not. It is, however, quite tasty, and if you sip it and close your eyes, you may very well be able to imagine yourself in New Orleans. Which is where I am tonight, in spirit, anyway. Because today was the first day of Jazz Fest 2009, the 40th iteration of that incredible celebration of music, food, and friendship. And yes, I do know what it means to miss New Orleans. Happy Jazz Fest, everybody. See you next year.
2 ounces rye whisky
1/2 teaspoon absinthe
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 slice very fresh lemon rind
Add rye, absinthe, & bitters to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and gently swirl for 2 minutes. Pour into chilled martini glass, twist lemon rind over glass to allow oils to spray surface of drink, then drop twist into drink.