Sazerac Cocktail (Pikesville Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 1 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.


Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (1 lump demerara sugar)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Pikesville Rye Whiskey)

(Soak sugar cube with bitters, muddle in mixing glass and…) Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled, add l dash Absinthe and squeeze lemon peel on top.

This is the first Sazerac, and I followed the Savoy recipe to the letter.

Interestingly, I was reading somewhere or another about sugar. It always seems semi authentic to muddle a sugar cube, but in point of fact, it’s not very 19th century at all. In Olden Tymes, sugar would have been cut or ground from a loaf, not formed into sugar cubes. Odds are, most bartenders in the 19th century would have been using some version of gomme or simple syrup.  Possibly finely ground sugar.  Sugar cubes would have been the province of tea parties and the upper class, not most bars.

In fact, according to the wikpedia article on Henry Tate, it was not until 1872 that, “he purchased the patent from German Eugen Langen on a method of making sugar cubes, and in the same year built a new refinery in Liverpool.”  Langen may invented his patented method for forming sugar cubes a bit earlier than this, but as far as I know cubes were not widely distributed before Tate’s introduction.  Yes, the same Henry Tate whose name now graces a rather nice art gallery in London.

Pikesville and the muddled cube make for a somewhat average, if not spectacular, Sazerac.  Interestingly, I’ve recently heard rumors that Pikesville and the 80 proof version of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey are the exact same whiskeys, just packaged in different bottles.  Hmmm.  Perhaps a side by side blind tasting is in order.  Though this Sazerac did actually kill my bottle of Pikesville.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

14 thoughts on “Sazerac Cocktail (Pikesville Rye)

  1. Wow! Yum! I am looking forward to this! If you find yourself in NYC, I’d be happy to make you my Sazerac! Or perhaps we meet half way at the Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt Hotel in NOLA?

  2. The Pikesville brand is now in fact owned by Heaven Hill. I would be surprised if there was more than one rye mash bill being made at HH. (The bourbons are all the same.) The interesting question is of course how HH “selects” Pikesville barrels, i.e. are they managed differently from start to finish or do they just represent a “cut” out of the inventory.


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  4. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had the Rittenhouse 80. I should pick some up. Finding Pikesville again will be the tricky part. I think they used to have it sometimes at John Walker & Co.

  5. There is some buzz that HH may discontinue the Rittenhouse 80 because demand for the 100 is so high. In fact, there’s no Rittenhouse 100 to be had right now. It might be a couple of months. ;-(

    (Just saw Pikesville at BevMo.)


  6. An authentic Sazerac Cocktail should only be made with Rye Whiskey – and never with Canadian Whisky or Bourbon.

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