Sunday, March 31, 2013

Classic Cocktails: De La Louisiane

I was pointed towards this fantastic twist on the classic Sazerac cocktail by Thomas Prieto. It originally comes from the Restaurant de la Louisiane, a famous French restaurant in early 20th-century New Orleans. The recipe was recorded by Stanley Clisby Arthur in his 1937 book New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em.

De La Louisiane
2 oz rye whiskey
0.75 oz sweet vermouth
0.75 oz Bénédictine
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
3 dashes (~0.5 tsp) pastis or absinthe

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The nose is dominated by the anise notes of the Herbsaint and Peychaud's, herbaceousness from the Bénédictine, with hints of sweet wine and rye. The sip begins with honey and wine sweetness from the Bénédictine and sweet vermouth, becoming herbal rye mid-palate, then leaving with a shower of anise sparks.

This is a really interesting mash-up of the Sazerac and the Vieux Carré. It's less sweet than I would have guessed looking at the recipe - the ingredients balance each other rather well. I would highly recommend this if you enjoy rye whiskey cocktails.

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