Why You Should Drink a Sazerac on Mardi Gras

By F&W Editors Posted February 09, 2016

This Mardi Gras, skip the frozen Daiquiris.

Fruity Hurricanes and frozen Daiquiris often fuel Mardi Gras parties, and while those cocktails are indeed traditional for the holiday, the real signature drink of New Orleans is the Sazerac. A boozy, aromatic, definitely-not-chuggable mix of Cognac or rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters and sugar with an absinthe rinse, a Sazerac is the perfect grown-up drink for an off-Bourbon Street Mardi Gras celebration. Its history in NOLA dates back to the 1800s, when apothecary owner Antoine Amedie Peychaud first started making cocktails for his friends with his signature bitters. Here, six classic and modern recipes for Mardi Gras Sazeracs.

1. Sazerac
This traditional take on the cocktail calls for potent bonded rye whiskey.

2. French Sazerac
Bartender Romee de Gorianoff spikes his version with absinthe-infused apple and uses Calvados in place of the usual whiskey.

3. Sazerac Reborn
Star anise makes this cocktail even more aromatic.

4. Prescription Sazerac
In this basic variation, bartender Mike Ryan supplements the rye with Cognac, adding a layer of fruity complexity.

5. Piquant Armagnac Sazerac
Ancho chile liqueur and Armagnac take this cocktail to new, spicy levels.

6. Latin Quarter
This rum-based spin on a Sazerac is named for the Big Easy neighborhood in which the drink was supposedly created.

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