Sazerac Cocktail History

The Sazerac is reported to be the first cocktail. Antoine Amedee Peychaud, born in France and creator of Peychaud Bitters was the inventor. Peychaud invented his bitters in Santo Domingo and brought the recipe to New Orleans with him. He opened a drugstore called Pharmacie Peychaud on Royal Street in the 1830's. Friends gathered frequently to sample his drinks served in a coquetier, which is the French word for an egg cup. The mispronunciation of coquetier may have resulted in the term cocktail. 

Peychaud used Sazerac Cognac, Absinthe, sugar and his own bitters in his recipe. The drink later became known as the Sazerac Cocktail. Nearby the pharmacy was The Sazerac Coffee House which helped popularize and give the drink its name. In the 1870's the name changed to The Sazerac House and rye began to be used instead of expensive imported brandy. 

With the ban of Absinthe in 1912, this was replaced with the new Pernod, Herbsaint, or Ricard. There are reports of several Sazerac Bars. One of them moved in 1949 to The Roosevelt Hotel and remains today in the Fairmont Hotel. You can order a Sazerac, but don't expect rocks. Traditionally this drink is served neat.

Another way to enjoy this old cocktail is to make one yourself! 



Sazerac Cocktail Recipe


1 Tsp. Pernod

1 Splash of Simple Syrup or 1 lump of sugar

1 Dash or two of Peychaud's Bitters

2 oz. Absinthe, Brandy, rye or whiskey


Swirl choice of spirit in a chilled Old Fashioned glass to coat. Dissolve sugar & add a couple dashes of bitters to taste. Fill with spirit of choice. Garnish with a twist.