Few drinks are as tied to a place as the Sazerac (with an
e) is to New Orleans. Why Gourmet and others—including The New York Times—misspelled its name is hard to understand, unless we picked it up from bars that were trying to avoid unwanted attention from the Sazerac Coffee House, whose proprietor decreed that a Sazerac be made with a particular brand of Cognac, a brand that (surprise!) he alone imported. When phylloxera decimated the Cognac industry, New Orleans’ bartenders switched to rye whiskey, so by the time we published this recipe the spelling certainly should have been fixed. Why we left out the Peychaud’s bitters is even harder to understand–Angostura bitters are fine, but Peychaud’s are the way to go in a Sazerac.
In a bar glass half full of cracked ice, combine 2 ounces rye and a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir well to chill the whiskey. Coat an Old-Fashioned glass with Pernod and strain the whiskey into it. Add a twist of lemon peel and serve at once.