The Sazerac is an iconic cocktail. Especially for mixologists. It is claimed by many to be the first mainstream cocktail, and whether it was or wasn’t, it can’t be argued that it was one of the originals. It certainly pre-dates prohibition.
The problem for me personally is that I don’t like the flavour of aniseed. Liquorice – love it, but aniseed? Urgh. Which has always meant that the Sazerac with it’s Absinthe ingredient has been a bit of a non-starter. I haven’t got it in my collection and the bottle of Pernod, I’ve had for years. Now there’s another liqueur you don’t see people drinking.
So I decided to reformulate the Sazerac – to be more in line with my own personal taste. What could I replace the Absinthe with that would have a similar profile? Big, bold flavour, and herbal in style? Chartreuse was for me the obvious choice.
In the first version I combined Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, Peychauds bitters with a little ice, stirred in a whisky glass – an old fashioned.
But I felt the Chartreuse was a little too dominant even though I was only using around 7.5ml.
So I tried it the next time with yellow Chartreuse instead. And yes it is better. A slightly mellower flavour and furthermore the colour of the drink looks better too.
So there it is, the Deauville, named after the place where the affluent French wannabes liked to party in the 1920s. The full recommended combination then is;
- 2 msrs Rye whisky
- 1/4 msr yellow Chartreuse
- 1/2 simple syrup
- 2 drops Peychauds bitters