Sazerac flops in Louisiana Senate

The Sazerac may have the reputation of being the quintessential New Orleans cocktail, but the Louisiana Senate isn't having any of it. At least on paper.

A proposal to make The Sazerac the official state cocktail has been rejected by the legislative body.

State Sen. Ed Murray introduced the bill because he said it was created in his hometown and has become world famous. However, others called it inappropriate to honor an alcoholic beverage.

"Is there a possibility that we could be encouraging folks, who were not intending to drink, that it would be acceptable and they could become an alcoholic?" asked Sen. Buddy Shaw.

"No," Murray responded, short and to the point.

However, the proposal fell to a 27-8 vote.

According to GumboPages.com, "This is the quintessential New Orleans cocktail. There are those who say this is the first cocktail, period. There's a lot of dispute over this, but it's certainly the first to appear in New Orleans, which has been acknowledged by many as the home of the cocktail.

" It is said that this drink was invented by Antoine Amadie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary who moved to New Orleans from the West Indies and set up shop in the French Quarter in the early 1800s. He dispensed a proprietary mix of aromatic bitters from an old family recipe, to relieve the ails of his clients ... and around the 1830s he became famous for a toddy he made for his friends. It consisted of French brandy mixed with his secret blend of bitters, a splash of water and a bit of sugar.

" ... Before long, the demand for this drink led to its being served in bars throughout the city ... . One of these ... was named the Sazerac Coffeehouse."

Here's a recipe for a basic Sazerac. Although some establishments make it with bourbon, using rye whiskey is more authentic:

1 tsp. simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp. granulated sugar)
3 to 4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey (most New Orleans bars use Old Overholt)
¼ tsp. Herbsaint, a New Orleans anise liqueur (may substitute Pernod)
Strip of lemon peel

The traditional method:

Pack a 3½-ounce Old Fashioned glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, moisten the sugar cube with just enough water to saturate it, then crush. Blend with the whiskey and bitters. Add a few cubes of ice and stir to chill. Discard the ice from the first glass and pour in the Herbsaint. Coat the inside of the entire glass, pouring out the excess. Strain the whiskey into the Herbsaint coated glass.

Twist the lemon peel over the glass so that the lemon oil cascades into the drink, then rub the peel over the rim of the glass; do not put the twist in the drink.
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