The Sazerac, designated the official cocktail of New Orleans, has various origin stories, one of them concerning pharmacist Antoine Peychaud, whose namesake bitters is an integral piece of this Big Easy sipper. No matter how it all went down, know this: Mixologist-owner Ross Simon has created a handsome riff on the canonical recipe, adding crème de cacao and Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters to the original’s rye whiskey (or cognac, back in the day), sugar, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe. Like the original, Simon’s elegant elixir is served without ice and chilled in a frozen double rocks glass with just a whiff of twisted lemon peel for a final, fragrant flourish. We could extoll its wonderfully balanced flavor, or how its rye bite and herbal bitterness are beautifully offset by hints of anise, cinnamon, cherry, chocolate and vanilla. Or we could just quote Dr. John and promise medicine to “cure all y’all’s ills.”
To make it the right way, you’ll need two freezer-chilled double rocks glasses. Add ice to one, along with 1 bar spoon simple syrup, 2 oz. rye whiskey, ½ oz. crème de cacao, 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters and 4 dashes Fee’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters. Stir the mixture, then strain into the second glass, which has been rinsed or spritzed with absinthe. Dip a lemon twist into the cocktail, then discard it, and begin your own origin story.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix