Longhair and a Sazerac Cocktail

For 2012 Mardi Gras we’re making our first cocktail pairing in honor of the Crescent City. Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans 1949 – 1957 by Professor Longhair
A Thomas Handy Sazerac Cocktail

Nighthawk records put together this collection of early recordings of one of the most creative and important figures of the New Orleans school of Rhythm & Blues, the late Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair. Released in 1981 this collection is a great introduction to the heritage of the Professor and provides a wonderful retrospective for those not fortunate enough to own more of his work on vinyl.
In 1981 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. He was awarded a posthumous Grammy for his early recordings released as House Party New Orleans Style, and in 1992 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Sazerac is a pretty exquisite cocktail with many layers of flavor to savor, sip and take in slowly. The cinammon essence of the rye whiskey, the bite of bitters and the anise essence of the absinthe laced glass make for a truly unique nose and drinking experience. The Sazerac was dubbed the official cocktail of New Orleans in 2008 by the Louisiana State Legislature. Makes me think, what other cities have an official cocktail? :)

Combining these two truly makes for an evening feeling as though you could be a few blocks down from the quarter with the windows flung wide open, hearing the music traveling down the alleyways and the smells of creole cooking wafting in the night air.
The sounds of brass bands and boogie woogie piano mingling like the layers of spices in the Sazerac to form a complex and yet very inviting combination much like the Big Easy itself.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Fat Tuesday!

Here’s the recipe for the Sazerac cocktail:

1 cube sugar
1½ ounces (35ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey
¼ ounce Absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon peel

  • Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice
  • In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube
  • Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar
  • Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Absinthe, then discard the remaining Absinthe (or drink it)

Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.