Sazerac Cocktail Recipe & Ingredients

The Sazerac is a classic cocktail from the 1800s. If you want to feel like a classy cocktail connoisseur, the Sazerac cocktail is the drink for you.

The Sazerac is a classic New Orleans cocktail from the 1800s. If you want to feel like a classy cocktail connoisseur, this is the drink for you.

What is a Sazerac?

The Sazerac is a New Orleans-born variant of a Cognac or whiskey cocktail, named after the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac, used as the original principal ingredient. 

The cocktail is generally made with Cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, and sugar, while bourbon whiskey and Herbsaint are often substituted for the rye and absinthe respectively.

Sazerac cocktail in a lowball tumbler glass with lemon garnish and hawthorn strainer.
Sazerac cocktail in a lowball tumbler glass with lemon garnish and hawthorn strainer. Source: Adobe Stock.

​​History of the Sazerac cocktail

According to legend, the Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud created the Sazerac in his shop at 437 Royal Street in 1838. He supposedly served the drink in an egg cup (coquetier) to his fellow Masons after hours, a phrase that some claim developed into “cocktail.” Peychaud’s favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils, inspired the drink’s name.

American rye whiskey was swapped for Cognac somewhere along the line, and bartender Leon Lamothe added a dash of absinthe in 1873. Absinthe was outlawed in 1912 for reportedly creating hallucinations and was dubbed the “Green Fairy” for its color and the “Black Death” for its licorice flavor. Peychaud’s particular bitters were quickly adopted in its place.

What Glass is a Sazerac Served In?

The Sidecar cocktail is typically served in a low ball or old-fashioned tumbler glass. If you don’t own the right glassware for this cocktail, consider some of the options below.

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How to Make a Sazerac

Like most cocktails, bartenders and drinkers often disagree on the best methods and ingredients to create them. Below are the ingredients and directions for a Sazerac. We hope you love this drink as much as we do.


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Recipe by Julian Solorzano Cuisine: Classic CocktailDifficulty: Hard ????????????


  • 1 Ounces Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac or your favorite VSOP Cognac

  • 1 Small Sugar Cube

  • 2 Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz Wild Turkey 101 rye whiskey

  • Splash of Jade Esprit Edouard Absinthe Superieure

  • Lemon zest coin


  • Chill a rocks glass with crushed ice and set it aside. In another rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube and both bitters to crush the cube and create a flavor paste; a tiny splash of water may help this process along.
  • Add the Cognac, rye whiskey, and 2 or 3 good-sized ice cubes and stir to chill.
  • Toss the crushed ice out of the first glass, splash the absinthe into it, and swirl; give it a spinning toss in the sir if you have high ceilings, and if your brave-oh and be sure to catch it on the way down!
  • Strain the chilled drink into the absinthe seasoned glass and express the oil from the lemon zest over the drink and discard.
  • Serve promptly. Drink slowly.

Recipe Video


So what do you think of the Sazerac cocktail? Love it? Hate it? What would you rate it? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you want to see more awesome mixology content, check out our full blog here, and subscribe to our newsletter to get great recipes just like this one, straight to your inbox. Until next time, stay safe, get hammered.

Written by Chris Harris, Staff Writer

Howdy. I’m Chris Harris. One of the writers here at Cocktail Hammer. I have a passion for all things food, wine, and mixology. When I’m not I’m behind the bar or writing for this awesome blog, you can find me riding my bike all across New York City.

Edited by Julian Solorzano, Staff Editor

Hailing from Queens, New York, Julian Solorzano served four years in the United States Air Force, traveling throughout Europe and experiencing the best of the local cultures, including their passion for good food and wine. He has since grown an appreciation for all things wine and mixology. Julian fuses that passion with his skills in writing, photography, and video production to share his passion with the world.

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