January 24th, 2008


Not all drink (recipes) are created the same

The Sazerac is one of the "classic" cocktails.  Originally made with brandy, the quintessential recipe for it right now is rye whiskey, an absinthe substitute, simple syrup, and bitters (typically Peychaud's).

But the different recipes...

I originally made the recipe using Robert Hess' website's recipe.  If you click on his recipe, you'll see his very nice description and history of the cocktail.  His is just a "splash" of simple syrup, some absinthe substitute (I use Pernod), two ounces of rye, and a dash of bitters.

I'd made it a couple of times and honestly, I never really saw the appeal of it.  It wasn't that bad - well, it was a bit.  Too much Pernod taste, too strong of a whiskey taste.

I kind of put it to the side.  Whatever.

So this week I'm trying to think of a drink to make since our keg of Dogfish Head Shelter Pale blew on Sunday, and I wanted something whiskey based to drink while smoking one of the myriad Lone Wolf cigars (Wolfpack vs. Sungrown taste test coming soon!) out in the cold.  I thumbed through my copy Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

Nothing in there was really tweaking my interest until I got to the back of it.  I noticed that this one used 3 ounces of whiskey, more simple syrup (1 teaspoon vs. 1/2), and more bitters.  Noting the difference, I went over to Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology and looked up his recipe.  Again, it used three ounces of rye, but he called for 3/4 of an ounce of simple syrup.

Now that changes everything.

I made one up using Regan's recipe and suddenly had a very wonderful drink in my hands.  I was using my Russell's Reserve rye, but wow - it was great.

Unfortunately the first one I made was a bit screwed up as I managed to forget the bitters.  Who forget the bitters?!  Me, I guess.

Still, an old drink quickly became a new favorite for me.  Heck, if I wasn't drinking a Dogfish Head 75 minute IPA (I mixed 60 and 90 myself, yes I did, instead of only ordering it at the restaurant), I'd think about making one tonight.

Now to finish my book and go to bed.  Tomorrow shall be a short day, thank goodness!