Friday, September 28, 2012

The Satchmo Cocktail: A Sazerac... With A Twist

By Warren Bobrow

It's easy for me to wrap my fingers around a thick glass filled with a twisted Sazerac. First I need the right ingredients. The classic cocktail named the Sazerac is a staple of New Orleans. The ingredients are set into cocktailian history - it's tough to mess with something sublime and savory… 

The Sazerac cocktail is a combination of only a few ingredients. First of all, Herbsaint goes into your Sazerac glass coating the inside, wetting it. Then a sugar cube gets dropped into the washed glass. It needs to be saturated with Peychaud's Bitters, then crushed with a cocktail stick. Following this mashing, a lemon zest is rubbed around the inside of the washed glass. Then finally a measure of Rye Whiskey enters the glass. That's it!

Unless you have a twisted sense of reality and purpose, you might not even consider deviating from the norm. This friend, is why I call myself the Cocktail Whisperer. I have a different sense of flavor, one honed from years of working around food (as a chef) and drink (as a bartender).

I love the flavors of New Orleans and the Sazerac is box office royalty in a glass.

 My unique version of the Sazerac doesn't include Herbsaint. It contains Tenneyson Absinthe. The reason I chose Tenneyson over Herbsaint is the slightly juniper tinged finish. I also include a small measure of Death's Door Gin. There is something about this Gin that permeates your memory of the Sazerac turning it into quite the different kind of aromatic cocktail. 

I also like to mix in a small measure of Campari. I like adding Campari because only Campari offers a tasty and bitter element missing from the classic Sazerac. You may be also be wondering which Whiskey I would be using in this very dangerous cocktail. Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength is my choice.  I’m picking this limited edition Bourbon over Rye for the simple reason that a Bourbon as fine as Four Roses needs to be included in a dangerous cocktail because of the proof level.  Rolling in at 110.2 proof, I think that the Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition offers more depth and spicy character than the typical Rye Whiskey.

Of course it is only dangerous if you use too much of anything.

And finally the ingredient that truly twists this cocktail up is the Bitters. In this cocktail I use The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters. I think the Creole has a bit more depth than the typical Peychaud's Bitter and certainly the concentration necessary to this drink.
I've renamed this marvelous concoction from a Sazerac to the Satchmo Cocktail in honor of Louis Armstrong - born on the fourth of July in New Orleans.

Ingredients for two extremely potent cocktails:
-Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon
-Tenneyson Absinthe (for the washed glass)
-Death's Door Gin
-Sugar cubes
-Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
-Lemon zests

-Chill a crystal glass with ½ shot of Tenneyson Absinthe, packed with ice and water, let cool for a bit then pour out (preferably down your throat - no wasting good liquor!).
-In this pre-chilled crystal glass, rub the inside well with a lemon zest.
-Add a sugar cube soaked in the Bitter Truth Creole Bitters to your glass.
-Crush with a wooden cocktail stick to release the flavors.
-Add 2 oz. Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon
-Add ½ oz. Campari
-Add ½ oz. Death's Door Gin
-Stir with a lemon zest threaded onto a cocktail stirrer.
-Sip to Louis Armstrong and the Hot Fives!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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