America’s First Cocktail

The Sazerac, often hailed as America’s original cocktail, is a timeless classic that embodies the spirit of New Orleans and the rich history of cocktail culture. This iconic libation has roots dating back to the early 19th century and has since become a beloved staple in bars and homes across the country.

The Sazerac’s story begins in the 1830s in the bustling city of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was originally concocted by Antoine Peychaud, a Creole apothecary (early pharmacist) who crafted his own bitters using a blend of aromatic herbs and spices. He served the beverage using Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandy, his own “Peychaud” bitters, a dash of Herbsaint and a lemon peel garnish. However, due to phylloxera epidemic, which devastated European vineyards in the late 19th century, rye whiskey became the primary spirit used in the Sazerac. It is said he first served it to his fellow Masons after hours in an egg cup –a coquetier—a word that some insist morphed into “cocktail.”

Over the years, the Sazerac has retained its allure and popularity, evolving into a symbol of New Orleans’ vibrant cocktail culture. It has even been designated as the official cocktail of the city, further solidifying its place in history.

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