Why This Recipe Works
- Dry hard cider is a flavorful (and affordable) swap for sparkling wine.
- The apple flavor of the hard cider is a perfect complement to warm rye and botanical-forward absinthe.
As much as it packs a punch, the Sazerac also packs a ton of history. Depending on who you ask, it's "America's first cocktail," one that the city of New Orleans is proud to claim as its own. Nothing in the long history of the Sazerac points to an affinity with hard cider, but flavor-wise, it makes great sense.
Apple flavors are a natural partner for a warming spirit like rye, and cider even plays well with the anise and botanicals in absinthe, which can be a bit of an oddball to mix. The cider softens the edges of the Sazerac a bit.
If you love hard cider in a cocktail, try this ginger pomegranate variation, or this tropical rum-spiked drink. If you choose to use a local cider, the recipe may need to be adjusted.
Sazerac and Cider Recipe
Warm, spicy rye and the herbal anise notes of Pernod take naturally to dry, fruity hard cider.
- 2 sugar cubes
- 6 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 3 ounces rye, such as Rittenhouse 100 proof
- 2 dashes Pernod Absinthe
- 4 ounces Crispin Original Cider
- Lemon peel, optional
In a mixing glass, saturate sugar cubes with bitters and muddle to break down sugar cubes. Add ice and rye.
Stir until well chilled and sugar is almost completely dissolved.
Put a dash of absinthe in each serving glass and swirl it around to coat glass, discarding any extra. Fill glasses with ice.
Strain chilled rye mixture evenly between serving glasses and top each one with 2 ounces cider. Garnish with lemon peel if desired and serve.
Mixing glass, cocktail strainer