Jewel Sazerac Recipe – How to Make a Jewel Sazerac
You land. You drink. And not until then have you arrived. As the cradle of cocktail culture in America, such is the way to officially commune with New Orleans. While the city’s best bars have always had their way of making classics a touch unique, over the past few years, some of its most tried-and-true cocktails have gone through an evolution at the hands of brilliant new bars with a deep respect for tradition. If you’re going to hang your drinking hat on a non-gimmicky, unironic home-bartending trend this year, make it the revised classic Nola cocktail.
When you visit, you should reacquaint yourself with the Roffignac at Peychaud’s in the French Quarter. Their version swaps in a lively eau de vie instead of a sleepy cognac to transform the drink into even more of a fresh, bracing pick me up. And don’t feel guilty for ordering a Ramos Gin-Fizz, at the Chandelier Bar at the new Four Seasons. While the drink is famous for requiring herculean amounts of shaking, beverage director Hadi Kitri and his team went through dozens of recipes and techniques to speed up the process: less ice, quality eggs and cream and very cold soda. It’ll come in around 90 seconds, yet it’s still one of the best Ramos’s You’ll have in the city.
But the most profoundly transformed classic is the Sazerac that Chris Hannah, one of the stewards of New Orleans cocktails, serves at Jewel of the South.
It is, in his words, kind of wrong. “Here we are in a new bar boasting classic New Orleans drinks while at the same time making our godfather cocktail in the most incorrect way,” Hannah says. It is served pre-batched, out of a freezer, undiluted, a la the famed Duke’s Martini in London.
And it is dead simple to make. The ingredients are artfully sideways: Herb-saint instead of absinthe, Madeira and rancio sec instead of Cognac. But the result is a revelation. A heightened, muscular Sazerac. It slaps you with refreshing cold, like the AC on LO on a 103 degree day. You can enjoy it slowly, even when it’s sweltering out, and notice how the flavors become rounder with each sip. And at the last one, you may proclaim it the best Sazerac you’ve ever had. Is it wrong? Perhaps. Is it a proper way to pledge your fellowship to the city of New Orleans, no matter where you are? Absolutely.
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