Photo courtesy of Limestone BBQ & Bourbon
Get ready for Delaware’s Mardi Gras celebrations with a classic Sazerac cocktail from Limestone BBQ & Bourbon in Wilmington.
Libation of the Month: Sazerac
Where to Find it: Limestone BBQ & Bourbon 2
062 Limestone Road, Wilmington 274-2085
As the month draws to a close, bartenders will be pouring more Hurricane cocktails, which become popular as Mardi Gras approaches. (It is on March 1 this year.) But this classic New Orleans libation is not the only one linked to the Big Easy.
Joey Walker, head bartender at Limestone BBQ & Bourbon, is a fan of the Sazerac. The ingredients include rye whiskey and Peychaud’s Bitters, created in about 1830 by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a Creole apothecary living in New Orleans.
But the bitters aren’t the main allure. Novices are fascinated by absinthe, an anise-flavored spirit with a high alcohol content that was once considered a hallucinogen. “I get a lot of people asking about it,” Walker acknowledges. There’s no cause for concern—the psychoactive qualities were greatly exaggerated.
Walker uses an atomizer to evenly spray the absinthe in the glass—a rinse, if you will. In a mixing glass, he adds 2 ounces of rye whiskey, four or five dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. He stirs the mix over ice until it’s diluted and chilled, then strains it into a glass. Many bartenders use a rocks glass. Walker prefers the elegant coupe glass and a lemon twist garnish.
The cocktail is named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac, the original star ingredient. Some bartenders, including celebrity mixologist Dale DeGroff, add cognac along with rye. Regardless, with the Sazerac in hand, you can laissez les bons temps rouler or, as we say here in the First State, let the good times roll.