A Sazerac is a deceptively simple cocktail. Although it only requires four ingredients—rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, simple syrup and absinthe—every ingredient is equally important. It is crucial to use high quality spirits, and the bottles you use will change the flavor of the cocktail. While rye whiskey is the obvious star of the show, brazenly boozy absinthe is the rug that ties the room together. Here, the four best absinthes for mixing Sazeracs. Now you can make them like the pros in New Orleans.
Bottled at 68 percent alcohol (which is a whopping 136 proof), this absinthe makes an herbaceous and extremely boozy Sazerac. Based on the original recipe that Pernod created in 1805, this spirit uses a grape eau de vie and grand wormwood from Pontarlier, France. It is spicy and vegetal with notes of fennel, black licorice candy and white pepper. Pair it with an equally peppery rye that has subtle vegetal notes like Knob Creek’s Single Barrel Rye or Rittenhouse Rye.