Watch: How to make a Sazerac, demonstrated (and discussed) by three New Orleans bartenders

David Lee Simmons, | The Times-Picayune

Cocktail recipes aren't always set in stone. That's one of the things that becomes clear in this video in which three New Orleans bartenders make the city's celebrated Sazerac. The video, a coda for our weeklong series "Through the Whiskey Glass" for our Bar Guide, features three experts: T. Cole Newton (owner, Twelve Mile Limit), Monica Zeringue (Herbstaint Restaurant) and Paul Gustings (Empire Barat Broussard's Restaurant).

There are subtle differences among the professionals. For example, one favors going easy on the bitters (always Peychaud's), while the other two prefer a heavier hand. Two insist on adding the lemon peel; another thinks it's pointless.

The recipes below reveal those shades of gray while making New Orleans' signature cocktail.

What's your recipe? What makes a Sazerac great? Who makes your favorite? [...]

Paul Gustings (bartender, Empire Bar, Broussard's Restaurant)

1 3/4 oz. Old Overholt rye whiskey

1/4 oz. simple syrup

11 drops of Peychaud's Bitters

Stir over ice. Strain into chilled rock glass that has been coated on the inside with Herbsaint. Twist the oil of a lemon twist into drink and discard lemon.

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