In 1838, a Creole immigrant named Antoine Peychaud opened the doors to a pharmacy on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. While Peychaud was an apothecary by trade, he was also a natural mixologist. He would often invite friends over to his pharmacy after it had closed and mix drinks for them, including a drink he crafted from brandy, absinthe and a proprietary blend of bitters.
Peychaud’s cocktail became wildly popular throughout New Orleans. In 1850, Sewell Taylor – owner of the Sazerac Coffee House located on Exchange Alley – institutionalized the cocktail by using only Sazerac de Forge et Fils Brandy, a brandy which Taylor imported and sold exclusively. By 1869, Thomas H. Handy had purchased the Sazerac Coffee House from Taylor and by the turn of the century, a phylloxera epidemic forced coffee houses (at the time, the term “coffee house” was used to refer to a cocktail bar) to use rye whiskey rather than brandy in the making of the Sazerac.
The Sazerac is known as the oldest American cocktail ever made. Today, you can make a genuine Sazerac cocktail with the recipe below!
- Place the sugar cube together with the bitters in an old fashioned glass and crush the sugar cube
- Add 1.5 ounces Sazerac Rye Whiskey to glass
- In a second Old Fashioned Glass, add absinthe and coat glass
- Empty absinthe from glass and add sugar, Sazerac and bitters mixture
- Garnish with lemon peel
As late summer sets in and fig season enters full-swing, we’ve found ourselves revisiting Mahia - a traditional Moroccan spirit distilled with 100% figs that has found its way to the United States thanks to David Nahmias, master distiller at the Nahmias et Fils Distillery located just outside of New York City. David’s Mahia, which uses fresh figs sourced directly from California, mimics his mother’s recipe, and mixes perfectly in the summer cocktail recipes below. Whether or not you’re taking a Mediterranean vacation this summer, you can feel like you’re relaxing on the beaches of Morocco by trying one of these cocktails today!
- 1 oz Mahia
- 1 oz whiskey
- 3 lemon wedges
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ginger ale
In a Collins glass, muddle lemons and simple syrup. Add ice, Mahia and whiskey. Stir. Top with ginger ale.
- 2oz Mahia
- 4 oz ginger & chamomile sweet tea
- fresh ginger
Muddle ginger and tea, in a Collins glass add Mahia and fill with ice. Garnish with candied ginger.
Night in Casablanca
- 2 oz Mahia
- ¼ oz bourbon
- 1 oz dry vermouth
- peychauds or angostura bitters
- sugar cube
Muddle and dissolve sugar cube with bitters in old fashioned glass, add 1 oz Mahia. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add ice, bourbon and vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist.