In 1838, Antoine Amedie Peychaud, owner of a New Orleans apothecary, treated his friends to brandy toddies of his own recipe, including his “Peychaud’s Bitters,” made from a secret family recipe. The toddies were made using a double-ended egg cup as a measuring cup or jigger, then known as a “coquetier” from which the word “cocktail” was derived.
By 1850, the Sazerac Cocktail, made with Sazerac French brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters, was immensely popular, and became the first branded cocktail. In 1873, the recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail was altered to replace the French brandy with American Rye whiskey, and a dash of absinthe was added.
In March 2008, Louisiana state senator Edwin R. Murray (D-New Orleans) filed Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac as Louisiana’s official state cocktail. The bill was defeated on April 8, 2008. After further debate, on June 23, 2008, the Louisiana Legislature agreed to proclaim the Sazerac as New Orleans’ official cocktail.
⅛ Teaspoon herbsaint or pernod liqueur
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 teaspoon simple syrup
3 or 4 dashes peychaud’s bitters
1 strip lemon peel
Pour the Herbsaint or Pernod into a small, chilled old-fashioned glass and swirl it along the sides of the glass before discarding the excess liquid, if desired.
Combine the rye, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake well to combine.
Moisten the edge of the glass with the lemon peel. Strain the cocktail into the glass, and drop in the peel.