The Sazerac Official Cocktail of New Orleans

A pessimist sees a rocks glass as half full, an optimist see a rocks glass as half empty. In March of 2008 Louisiana Senator Edwin Murray of New Orleans saw the rocks glass as an opportunity to designate the Sazerac cocktail as the official state drink of Louisiana. Mr. Murray filed Senate Bill 6 with the state legislature and surprisingly on April 8 the cup came up half empty when the bill was defeated. After further debate and a tweak from state drink to city drink, on June 23, 2008 the Senator was able to convince his comrades that the cocktail glass was indeed half full and with a vote of 62 to 33, legislators proclaimed the Sazerac the official drink of the City of New Orleans.

Regular Session, 2008 ENROLLED

To enact R.S. 33:1420.2, relative to state symbols; to designate the Sazerac as the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana: 5 Section 1. R.S. 33:1420.2 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

1420.2. New Orleans Cocktail

There shall be an official cocktail of the city of New Orleans. The official New Orleans cocktail shall be the Sazerac. The Sazerac, created in the nineteenth century by Antoine Amedee Peychaud in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is world known for the use of a local product known as “Peychaud’s Bitters.” Its use on official documents of the city of New Orleans and with the insignia of the city of New Orleans is hereby authorized.

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How to Make New Orleans Official Drink

Ladies Night at the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans in the 1950s. The Hotel Later Became The Fairmont Sazerac
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Storming The Sazerac Bar, The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans c.1950.


  • 1 cube sugar
  • 1 ½ ounces Rye Whiskey or Bourbon
  • ¼ ounce Herbsaint or Absinthe
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel


  • Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice. (Don’t worry, it ends up neat.)
  • In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then muddle the sugar cube. (Two glasses is a part of the ritual.)
  • Add the Rye Whiskey or Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar.
  • Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint.
  • Empty the whiskey, bitters, sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass.
  • Twist the lemon peel into glass to release the oils. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass.
  • Garnish with lemon peel.


The History of the Sazerac Cocktail and its Apothecary Roots

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