Here at Rootstock and Vine, we’re known for our monthly wine dinners. But in the spirit of bringing unique, fresh ideas to both our menu and the City of Woodstock, this month, we decided to shake things up a bit and offer a Sazerac Pairing Dinner!

Why Sazerac? In addition to being a preferred cocktail by many, it has an interesting history!

A History of the Sazerac Cocktail

In the early 19th century, a gentleman named Antoine Amedie Peychaud, an owner of a New Orleans apothecary, was known for treating his friends to brandy toddies that he created himself, including an ingredient he called “Peychaud’s Bitters,” made from a secret family recipe. The toddies were created using a double-ended egg cup as a measuring cup or jigger, then known as a “coquetier” (pronounced “ko-k-tay”), which is where the word “cocktail” is derived.

By 1850, the Sazerac Cocktail, made with Sazerac French brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters, was extremely popular, becoming the first “branded” cocktail. In 1873, the recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail was altered to replace the French brandy with American Rye whiskey, and a dash of absinthe was added. (Later, absinthe fell out of favor and was eventually banned, as it was associated with illicit behavior in the early 1900’s. Ooh la la!)

By the early 1930’s, the Sazerac Cocktail was being bottled and marketed by the Sazerac Company of New Orleans. That same year, “Herbsaint,” a pastis made to be a substitute for absinthe, was made according to a French recipe. In 1940, the Official Sazerac Cocktail recipe was modified to use Herbsaint instead of the absinthe. Finally, in 2000, the Official Sazerac Cocktail recipe was modified to use Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. And people have been enjoying this cocktail in this way ever since!

According to the Sazerac website, here’s the Official Sazerac Cocktail Recipe:

1 cube sugar
1½ ounces (35ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey
¼ ounce Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon peel

Instructions:

– Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice
– In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube
– Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey 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 and garnish with lemon peel

Rootstock’s Sazerac Dinner

Our Executive Chef, Todd Webster, has already planned what is sure to be delicious pairings for this cocktail. Stay tuned, as we’ll start sharing menu teasers this week! (And trust us–these dishes will be packed with flavor expected from a New Orleans-derived cocktail!)

Join us on February 20th, and let the good times roll! To grab your tickets, click here!

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