Americas Food + Drink

The New Orleans Sazerac

November 20, 2011

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Prompt #20: Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with?

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.” –G. K. Chesterton

I love trying local drinks while traveling, anything from iced coffee freddos in Greece to the salty, yogurty drink ayran in Turkey, to the local brandy, Palinka in Romania or Applesin & Maltextrakt in Reykjavik. If it’s local, I’ll try it. So when I was preparing to go to New Orleans last month, my coworker recommended a cocktail that I’d never tried — the Sazerac. With an “I’m pretty sure you’ll love it” recommendation (especially knowing that I don’t like super sweet drinks), I made sure to try the Sazerac my first night in NOLA — and found my new favorite cocktail. I ordered one just about every night we were there and my favorite in the city was at dba. Three Muses also had an interesting twist on the Sazerac.

Sazerac - The New Orleans cocktail

If you’re unfamiliar with the Sazerac, it’s rye whiskey, Herbsaint (anise-flavored liquor), bitters, and a lemon peel. The traditional New Orleans cocktail.

What’s one of the best drinks you’ve had while traveling?

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