Sunday, January 10, 2010

A "HONEY" of a Sazerac Cocktail - Bartender Quality Drink

I have a question for my 6 readers... Do you have an "our song", or a restaurant or a menu meal or dish that reminds you of... the last time you were falling in love? Anyone want to share the story??? Valentines Day is coming, what are you going to do to remind yourself of why you are where you are today?

Here's my story of a very romantic drink for me (and a "our song" at the end)...

My prediction for the Super Bowl this year... Baltimore Vrs New Orleans (
Baltimore wins 31-20). Lay your bets now for the best odds. OR If you are not really a better, but love to cook and entertain... Start thinking now about your Super Bowl party. It should carry a theme, Crab cakes from Maryland and Jambalaya from New Orleans. Grab a Clipper City Brew, one of Baltimore's premium micro-brews, and don't forget an Abita beer from the Big easy. Those choices are easy, but to make your party REALLY different from the masses, Don't forget the cocktail ... In honor of Edgar Allen Poe, you could kiss the Green Fairy AND with the same ingredient (ABSINTHE), enjoy the quintessential New Orleans cocktail, the SAZERAC COCKTAIL!

I will leave tales of the Green Fairy (Absinthe) for fans of Baltimore to tell (just cause I predict Baltimore to win, I will be rooting for New Orleans). But the quick version...

The legendary drink potentially caused hallucinations (Ernest Hemingway once described, "walking on legs of tulips" after a night of drinking Absinthe). Baltimore's second most famous resident (Babe Ruth would be the most famous), Edgar Allen Poe drank himself to death on this drink. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the formula for making true Absinthe (from the 1800's) is no longer available in the United States.
But, the Absinthe that is sold in the states does make a terrific ingredient in the Sazerac Cocktail. if you have been reading my blog for a few weeks, I make no secret of my love of ALL things Cajun and for the city of New Orleans! The Sazerac was first created in New Orleans in the 1830's. Some argue (they would be wrong, but they do argue) that the sazerac was the very first cocktail ever created (it was among the first). No trip to New Orleans, no Super Bowl (with the Saints playing) party, nor even Mardi Gras party would be complete without a sazerac cocktail. Here's the current version of the historically correct recipe...

"Hurricanes are for tourists.
Sazeracs are for natives."
1/2 teaspoon absinthe, or Herbsaint (a New Orleans brand of anise liqueur)
1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube)
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters

1 small dash, a scant drop, of Angostura bitters

2 ounces rye whiskey.
Strip of lemon peel

I have been known to drink one or two of these in my day. In fact, during a recent trip to New Orleans, I did my best to single-handily rebuild New Orleans, one sazerac at a time. (click HERE to read of my 8 sazeracs during that trip). While I very much enjoy the classic recipe above, I have made just a couple of small changes to make an all new version which I find a bit smoother (especially if you are trying to get non whiskey drinkers to give this a shot).

In place of the simple syrup, I add a teaspoon of honey. This needs to be mixed very well so that it is all absorbed into the whiskey.

The drink is also meant to be served chilled and up (no ice). I enjoy the romance of clinking ice cubes, so I do serve it on the rocks. I am fortunate enough to have an ice maker that makes larger ice cubes. If you are using crushed ice (don't, but if you do), store your rocks size glasses in the freezer prior to serving, and shake and strain the liquor quickly in a cocktail shaker. the longer you shake, the more the ice will melt and water down the drink. Strain into the fresh from the freezer glass and the drink will stay cold for about 15 minutes. If you take more than fifteen minutes to drink this, do not serve over ice (no matter how big and cold the cubes). Better to have a warm sazerac than a watered down sazerac.

Aren't you just a little bit jealous of my pink elephant stir sticks???

New Orleans has a special place in my heart for several reasons, but not the least... This was the first city Jackie and I vacationed together when we were first dating. That always dangerous time when a small argument can fester during all that personal time together... or love can grow. When I made this drink on Christmas Eve, we spent time remembering not just the last time, but also the first time we fell in love... with the city of New Orleans, but also each other. The sazerac cocktail is a perfect way to remember the first time I felt like that...

If you click on the video above, you may cry just a bit... It is "our Song" for Jackie and me. I arranged to have it sung the night I proposed. the Sazerac reminds me of all this... And Jackie. The guiding force of my life is in that song. I want that feeling everyday. And that was the purpose of our Christmas Eve event... 12 hours, a different dish (or drink) each hour that reminded us of all those special places in our life.

So, back to my question for my 6 readers... Do you have an "our song", or a restaurant or a menu meal or dish that reminds you of... the last time you were falling in love? Anyone want to share the story??? Valentines Day is coming, what are you going to do to remind yourself of why you are where you are today?

Just in case you aren't paying close attention, I am posting my Christmas Eve dinner with my wife. We decided to recreate our culinary journey through restaurant quality meals. So far, you have missed...

Come back tomorrow to see what we did at 5 PM it's time to make a vegetable!! ...

Oh, and for legal reasons, while I do hope that New Orleans makes the Super bowl, I only made that prediction in the first paragraph of the post because it fit so well in the telling the tail of Absinthe. I have no knowledge that would indicate I could make a prediction of a future sporting event, nor ANY history as a winning sports better. The combo of Baltimore and New Orleans was included as a story telling device only, and was not meant as an encouragement for you to mortgage your house and place a BIG bet.


  1. That is a powerful drink. I'm thinking about answering your question :-).

  2. Dude you have more than 6 readers - LOL. Good idea, I'll have to think about a good post like that for Valentines Day.

    Ok, confession time and you have permission to beat me with a strip of lemon peel if we ever meet in person (I-70 is a straight shot to Denver by the way). I did not have one single Sazarec the whole time I was in New Orleans. What's up with that?!?!?! I drank lots of wine and had one Hurricane.

  3. We had many, many special moments that remind me of falling in love but not so much a special song. The first time she kissed me in my sister's garage was the moment that changed our relationship from friends to romantic and to me, that was the "moment of destiny" in our relationship.

  4. Ditto for me too Lea Ann... I didn't have one either.

    As for a song... not here either... I have moments and places that we remember as pivotal in our relationship... things we just laugh about... we tend to laugh a lot...

    Albany International Airport at the bottom of the escalator... came up behind me and whispered in my ear... waitin' on a redneck by chance?... love at first sight

  5. Six? I am so bad at math - you are uber popular man! Six my ass....

    Love the Green Fairy; I may have her tattooed on my other shoulder.

    I'll Stop the World and Melt with You...remember that eighties song...yup.

  6. Our song is Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. It will be out first dance at our wedding in May. I don't really drink, so I don't have a drink that reminds me of falling in love :-)

    What would you be going to the VI for? It's a beautiful place. If I wasn't so attached to family here, I would live there in a heartbeat!

  7. Great posting and I will be on a hunt for the "Pink Elephant Swizzel Stick.

  8. I never drink anything with more than two ingredients.. Haven't had a hangover in forever.. Any bar I frequent has strict orders to not serve me if I order a Stinger..In the words of W.C. Fields.."Good God! Who put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice?"

  9. Our song: Stairway To Heaven

    Our drink: Stroh's beer, 3.2% (We were seniors in high school)

    Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  10. No "our song" and the first meal was one I made. Ole Sweetie-Pi, unbeknownst to me, is very fussy and limited in what he chooses to dine on. I think he ate one scallop and the chocolate mousse pudding. I decided after the one scallop that I was going to part company and eat his leftovers after he went home. At the end of the evening, as I was escorting him (hurriedly to the door) he turned and said, "I realize that we don't have anything in common. I think you should date me again to see what else we don't have in common."

    Who could resist a line like that. Eight years later, we're still figuring it out.

  11. In order to avoid having my husband laugh at me (yet again) because I don't know how to pronounce anything in American, exactly how does one pronounce "Sazerac"?

    Just about any Dashboard Confessional song reminds me of falling in love with Jeff. So does biscuits and gravy. Honest. The first time I came to visit him in Wichita, we went out for breakfast and I found myself horrified by this pale, chunky substance in large vats at the buffet table. He patiently explained the concept to me, and made up a plate for the both of us that we shared. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure if that was the time I was falling in love with Jeff, or with the biscuits and gravy...It's all a blur ;)

  12. We don't really have a 'song' but we often laugh about our first date. I was dating someone else, my Dad didn't like him, asked me to hang out with Dude who just got out of the service and moved back to MN. We went to the Science Museum and looking at the board on the front of the museum, the movie was "Niagra". We looked and thought it said "Nicaruga". When he asked if I wanted to see the movie too, I politely declined saying that even though I loved the IMAX theater, a movie about war wasn't something I wanted to see. After going through the museum and seeing all the displays on Niagra Falls, we looked at each other and laughed-"Oh, NIAGRA". Our drink is a Flirtini that we just discovered about 2 years ago on a romantic night out. Always leads to a good time.....

  13. Hmmmm. First; I love your Christmas dinner.
    Second, I've never been to New Orleans (although I have been to Orleans).... Always wanted to, may still get there.
    Third, Valentine's day stories..... Let me say 2 things.... Our's is the opposite of romantic but we've lasted 30 years. You'll have to wait until the V day to know....

  14. And why does my Typepad profile always give weird id tags?