Sazerac Cocktail (Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Sazerac Cocktail 9 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Continuing with the non-traditional Sazeracs, I thought if I could make one with Genever, I could make one with Anchor’s Genever Style American Gin, Genevieve.

I’ve been a fan of Genevieve since it was introduced back in 2007.  Not everyone has agreed with me, with some friends claiming it is unmixable.  Personally, I think they are just going about it wrong, and trying to make cocktails typically made with Dry Gin with the Genevieve.  A lot of those just don’t work, or well, don’t work in the same way.

It is better to stick with recipes typically made with Genever, when playing with the Genevieve.

Which isn’t to say, Genevieve isn’t still a bit of an acquired taste.  Most modern Genevers are pretty tame and sophisticated beverages.  Genevieve really isn’t.  If a little bit of rough trade isn’t up your alley, you might want to stick with girly gins like Plymouth and Bols Genever.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a bit of frontier justice in your alcoholic beverages, Genevieve might be right up your alley.  Some spirits professionals have gone so far as to say Genevieve isn’t really a Genever style at all, being more akin to the “Country Gins” made in America in the 19th Century.

The main difference between Genevieve and most modern Genevers are:

1) It is made from 100% malt wine.  Like a making a whiskey, Anchor makes a beer, then distills it.  There are no neutral spirits added to Genevieve.  Most Genever is blended with neutral spirits, Bols Genever being something like 60% alcohol distilled from Malt Wine has one of the higher percentages.

2) It is more highly flavored than most Genevers, and flavored with a more eclectic blend of botanicals.  In fact, Anchor uses the same botanicals to flavor their Genevieve, as they use to flavor their Junipero Gin.  Most Dutch Genever is far more mildly flavored.

3) Genevieve is flavored by adding the botanicals directly to the spirits, steeping for a period, then redistilling.  This is the same process they use for their Junipero Gin.  Almost all Genever is flavored using flavor essences distilled from the individual botanicals.  These essences (perfumes) are then combined with the neutral spirits and spirits distilled from malt wine.  Actual botanicals are not added to most Genever distillate at any point.  This is a ballsy move on Anchor’s part, prone to error and may result in some inconsistency across batches.  On the other hand, there’s no arguing with the honesty of their methods or the intensity of their flavors.

So how is a Genevieve Sazerac?  Pretty intense and pretty damn good.  If it’s too much for you, maybe stick to your Cosmos and Mojitos, I promise not to judge you too harshly.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Bols Genever)

Sazerac Cocktail 8 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Bols Genever Gin)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

One question I have is how far can you stretch the method or ingredients for making a Sazerac, and still have something that tastes like one. This is especially pertinent when you consider the Sazerac Cocktail was originally made with Cognac, not Rye Whiskey at all.

A drink which David Wondrich has popularized in his books “Imbibe” and “Killer Cocktails” is the “Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail”. It is composed of 2 oz of Genever, a dash of Maraschino, Aromatic Bitters, a dash of Absinthe and simple syrup. It is stirred and strained into a cocktail glass. Usually garnished with a lemon twist.

Sound a bit familiar? The addition of the Maraschino and type of bitters are about all that separate an “Improved Holland Gin Cock-tail” from a Sazerac.  Thus, it really wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine Genever in a Sazerac.

What happens when you give Bols Genever the Sazerac treatment?

Why, in fact, it is quite delicious! Instead of the sharpness of Rye, you get a mellow maltiness from the Genever. Also, the less impactful Genever allows the adjunct ingredients to come to the fore. The aromatic herbs of the Absinthe and the Peychaud’s are what shine in this version of a Sazerac Cocktail.

But is it a Sazerac?  While it would be amusing to put this in front of someone asking for a Sazerac, no.  On the other hand, it seems a lot closer to the spirit of that drink than one made with many of the richer Bourbons.

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.

Sazerac (Old Overholt Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 6 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Old Overholt Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey sits in the middle. A tasty enough Rye, with a good bit of character, it is mostly a bit lacking in “Oooomph”. As many a booze soaked New York dipsomaniac has lamented, a 90 or a 100 proof version of this Rye would go a long way towards resurrecting this history laden brand.

I did mention they basically only drink overproof spirits in New York, didn’t I? Something about the cold weather, I think.

Anyway, this is a perfectly fine Sazerac, and Old Overholt is just about the most likely Whiskey for a Sazerac to be made with in New Orleans, so it is worth getting to know.

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.

Sazerac (Rittenhouse Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 5 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Rittenhouse 100 (Or sometimes called “Bonded”) seems to be the default Rye Whiskey for New York bars. Just about every time you read about a Rye Whiskey cocktail from New York, it calls for Rittenhouse 100. I’m not sure if it is the low key easy mixing nature of this whiskey that is so attractive, or the fact that it is 100 proof. Actually, I’m pretty sure the real reason is it so widely used is that it usually retails for around $15.

Unfortunately, for a long time, Rittenhouse wasn’t available on the West Coast. Even today, while it is usually available, the supplies often come and go, I guess with the whims of the distributor.

For the price, it is a very good Rye, which is flexible enough to mix well in just about any cocktail you throw at it. However, for me, it shines more in drinks like Manhattans, Brooklyns, Red Hooks, and Little Italys.

In a Sazerac, it doesn’t quite bring enough to the party. For a cocktail as naked as the Sazerac I like the Rye to have a bit more bite and character than the Rittenhouse.

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.

Sazerac (Hudson Manhattan Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 4 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Hudson Manhattan Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

One of the fun things about Sazeracs is sharing them.

It’s kind of a labor intensive cocktail, to make for one person.

However, a pitcher of Sazeracs is really only nominally more work than a single cocktail.

I didn’t quite make a pitcher, this time.

However, I couldn’t not make this version of the Sazerac for the wonderful Mrs. Flannestad. After all, a few years ago, when she was visiting New York for business, she took the train and bus all the way to Red Hook to get it for me. It used to be quite a journey to visit the storied LeNell’s liquor store.

But now, you have to go all the way to Mexico to visit LeNell at Casa Cocktel!  Makes the ride on the B61 seem not so bad.

Anyway, the Hudson Manhattan Rye makes a pretty fabulous, if a bit brawny, Sazerac.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Sazerac Straight Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 3 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey, Plump Jack Barrel Select)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

It’s interesting to compare the Sazerac 18 Rye with the Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey. Both are great whiskeys, and there’s definitely a familial resemblance in the character of the whiskey, but the Sazerac 18 has so much more subtlety and grace. To be honest, I’m not over fond of Sazeracs made with the Sazerac Straight. To me, this whiskey works best in Sours, not aromatic cocktails.

Still, I’m not kicking this one out of bed, even if it isn’t my favorite.

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.

Sazerac Cocktail (Sazerac 18, 2005)

Sazerac Cocktail 2 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.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Sazerac 18 Rye Whiskey, 2005)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe  (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

As part of my birthday gift to my self, in October of every year, I give Drew at the Plump Jack Wine Store in Noe Valley a call and tell him to be on the lookout for the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. I give him my preferences for which whiskeys to save for me, usually having tried them at Whiskey Fest.

I almost always ask for the Sazerac 18 Rye, Thomas Handy Rye, William Weller Bourbon. Sometimes I splurge on a bottle of George T. Stagg (aka Hazmat).

I’ve been rationing this particular bottle of Sazerac 18 since the beginning of this little obsession. It is one of my absolute favorite Rye Whiskeys.

It makes an absolutely fabulous Sazerac, possibly my all time favorite.

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.