A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2009
Sazerac (cocktail)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Sazerac (cocktail)
The Sazerac is one of the oldest known cocktails, with its origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans, Louisiana. The original drink is based on a combination of Cognac and bitters created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the 1830s, and is reported to be the first cocktail ever invented in America. Since its creation, many different recipes have evolved for the drink, usually involving some combination of Cognac, rye whiskey, absinthe, pastis, Peychaud’s Bitters, and Angostura bitters.

The Sazerac cocktail was named by John Schiller in 1859 upon the opening of his Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. Both most likely derive their name from a popular brand of Cognac, Sazerac-du-Forge et fils.

Preparation
The defining feature of the Sazerac is the preparation of an old fashioned glass with absinthe or pastis. Pernod, Herbsaint, Absente and green Chartreuse are common substitutes although they are not made from grande wormwood, the traditional type of wormwood used in pre-ban absinthes. (Absinthe has been legal in the United States since 2007.)

According to the Sazerac Company of New Orleans, the modern day Sazerac Cocktail recipe calls for 1 cube of sugar, 1 1/2 ounces of Sazerac Rye Whiskey, 1/4 ounce of Herbsaint, 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters and a lemon peel. One old fashioned glass is packed with ice. In a second old fashioned glass, a sugar cube and 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters are muddled. The Rye Whiskey is then added to the sugar/Bitters mixture. The ice is emptied from the first old fashioned glass and the Herbsaint is poured into the glass and swirled to coat the sides of the glass. Any excess Herbsaint is discarded. The Rye-Sugar-Bitters mixture is then poured into the Herbsaint coated glass and the glass is garnished with a lemon peel.

The original Sazerac Cocktail was a cognac based drink. In the 1870s, cognac was replaced with Rye Whiskey and absinthe was added.

Historical information
A recipe for the Sazerac is listed in Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em by Stanley Clisby Arthur, published in 1937.

In March 2008, LA state senator Edwin Murray, D-New Orleans, filed Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac as Louisiana’s official state cocktail. The bill was defeated on April 8, 2008. A recent amendment makes the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans — the alcohol-friendly city where the rye whiskey-based concoction originated.

Though the Senate approved the bill for New Orleans only, the House reversed the bill it to its original form. The Senate rejected the bill again, sending it to conference committee. The panel said it should be the official New Orleans cocktail and the Senate agreed. The House failed to concur. On June 23, 2008 the House proclaimed the Sazerac as New Orleans’ official cocktail.

The “Professional Mixing Guide” produced by The Angostura-Whuppermann Corporation in 1957 contains an entry for the Sazerac, but not a recipe. Instead, it states:

Out of respect for the property rights of others, no attempt is made herein to list any recipe for a Sazerac. Others have, on occasion, printed what proported to be a recipe for a “Sazerac Cocktail,” but so far as it is known, the genuine recipe is still a deep, dark secret.

Dictionary.com
Saz⋅e⋅rac   /ˈsæzəˌræk/ [saz-uh-rak]
Trademark.
a cocktail made with rye or bourbon, bitters, Pernod, and sugar, stirred or shaken with ice, strained and served with a twist of lemon rind.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

Epicurious.com - Food Dictionary
Sazerac
[SAZ-uh-rak]
A COCKTAIL consisting of whiskey, SUGAR SYRUP and a dash each of BITTERS and PERNOD. Its name comes from the fact that it was originally served at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. The first of these potent drinks is said to have been made with Sazerac-du-Forge, a French brandy.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Sazarac
orig. and chiefly U.S.
Also Sazerac. [Origin unknown.]
A cocktail consisting of whisky, pernod or absinthe, bitters, and syrup, served usu. with a slice of lemon. Also attrib., as Sazarac cocktail.
1941 Louisiana: Guide to State (Writers’ Program) 230 The most celebrated of New Orleans cocktails—the Sazerac—is a mixture of whisky, bitters, and sugar, served in a glass mixed with absinthe.
1946 C. H. BAKER Gentleman’s Compan. II. 122 The best drinks produced in New Orleans stick to the ancient simple formula—and please, please, never try to vary it; for if you do you’ll not be drinking a true Sazarac.
1958 E. DUNDY Dud Avocado I. i. 18 So many marvellous new drinks..sazaracs and slings and heaven knows what else.
1961 F. CRANE Reluctant Sleuth viii. 66 Regan had liked Sazarac cocktails.
1963 M. MALIM Pagoda Tree xxii. 145 Then came the sazaracs. I remember having a word with Canthrop B beside the bar quite early on. He took charge of the bar, to superintend the mixing of this Fine Old Southern cocktail. ‘I’m doubling up on the absinthe’ he said gleefully.
1978 G. VIDAL Kalki iv. 93 We had each polished off a pair of Sazerac cocktails, a local killer [in New Orleans].

5 September 1900, Columbus (GA) Daily Enquirer, pg 8 ad:
For the Finest Cocktail,
Try “SAZERAC.”

21 May 1902, Anaconda (MT) Standard, pg. 7 ad:
Sazerac Cocktails.

19 December 1903, Macon (GA) Weekly Telegraph, pg. 3 ad:
SAZARAC COCKTAILS.

29 May 1904, Boston (MA) Journal, “New Drinks for Hot Summer Time,” second section, pg. 7:
Recently there has made its appearance here one of the greatest drinks served in that Southern resort of hospitality. It is the “Sazarac cocktail,” which first was created at the Sazarac cafe in New Orleans, but which now can be obtained at any of the leading hotels and cafes. This cocktail is made of brandy primarily, with a plentiful addition of Peychaud bitters, some vermouth, a dash of absinthe and some sugar. Up to a year or so ago the beverage was practically unknown in the North.

9 January 1911, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 6, col. 8:
“The saxerac cocktail, made famous by the bartenders of New Orleans, is one of the oldest mixed drinks in the world,” said T. P. Thompson, of the Crescent City, at the New Ebbitt. “It was invented, if I may use that word, by a Frenchman named Sazerac, who kept a place on the Rue Royale near Canal street, in the old section of New Orleans known as the Merchants’ Exchange. This was many years ago, and in that period the French residents of New Orleans gathered in large numbers to regale themselves with Sazerac’s concoction. The cocktail was given the name of the sazerac, and so famous did it become that a competitor of Sazerac determined to invent a drinkk that would rival that of the old Frenchman, He began by mixing brandy with vanilla sirup and sugar, and he gradually worked it into an exceedingly palatable cocktail, which now is almost as famous a drink as the sazerac. This drink is known as the roupegnac, and I say to you that it is a corker. Three or four of them will put almost any man under the table. The cocktail was named after the man who first mixed it, and he afterwards became the mayor iof New Orleans.”

16 June 1912, New Orleans (LA) Times Picayune, pg. 48:
TYPICAL DRINKS OF NEW ORLEANS
Some Special Concoctions That Have Made It Difficult for Oleansians to Keep Sober.
(...)
While the Sazerac cocktail is made by a secret forumla, the following is given by a bartender as the recipe for a very fair imitation of it: One-half lump of cutloaf sugar, crushed; a dash of Peychaud biitters, a dash of Angostura bitters, one ounce of rye whisky, the juice and oil of lemon peel, and a lump of ice. This is strained into a second glass containing a dash of absinthe. The saloon which makes this now famous cocktail stands on the same site in Royal Street that was occupied by the piriginal Sazerac house in 1935. The reputation of this cocktail has grown to such an extent within the past few years that orders for it are received from all parts of the United States. It is bottled, an several railway and steamship companies are supplied with it.
(...)
Fred Roses, a head barkeeper, says the style in drinks changes from day to day, like a woman’s headgear. Mr. Roses has been behind the bar twenty-five years, and served under the old-time mixologist, Billy Wilkinson, who mixed the first Sazerac cocktail.

(Trademark)
Word Mark SAZERAC
Goods and Services IC 033. US 049. G & S: ALCOHOLIC COCKTAILS. FIRST USE: 18950101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18950101
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Serial Number 71659820
Filing Date January 20, 1954
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0602218
Registration Date February 15, 1955
Owner (REGISTRANT) SAZERAC COMPANY, INC., THE CORPORATION LOUISIANA 803 JEFFERSON HIGHWAY NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA 70152
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Todd S. Bontemps
Prior Registrations 0305857
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECTION 8(10-YR) 20050401.
Renewal 3RD RENEWAL 20050401
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, January 20, 2009 • Permalink