Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sazerac Nights

It didn't take us long to figure out there were two types of tourists in New Orleans:  The Hurricanes and the Sazeracs.  We had every intention of getting down and dirty with the best of the them, but after only a few hours on Bourbon Street, I knew this wasn't going to happen.  All it took was ducking into that dark, swanky bar attached to Arnaud's and ordering my first Sazerac to know I had found my New Orleans.

Fine restaurants. Oysters and more oysters.  Quiet courtyards with beads and Spanish Moss dripping from trees.  Waiters in tuxedos.  A lone melancholic sax drifting above scented cigar smoke.  And my very retro-looking Diane von Furstenberg dress.  "Here's lookin' at you, kid."
Our last night in New Orleans we sat at the bar at Kingfish and watched a seasoned bartender make this classic cocktail for us.  To make it correctly involves quite a ritual.  While our two old-fashioned glasses were filled with ice and water and allowed to sit, another small glass pitcher was used to muddle the sugar and bitters.  More ice was added and then the whiskey.  He then discarded the ice water from the two glasses and added Herbsaint.  Then he tossed this out, too.  Finally, he strained the chilled whiskey and poured it into the glasses, adding a twist of lemon.

We were in heaven!  We clinked our glasses and winked at the bartender.  A young Hurricane sitting next to us had watched the whole ritual, too, and asked, "What is that?"

"A Sazerac," I said.

He looked at the bartender.  "Can I have one, too?"

This drink has been made in the French Quarter since the mid-1800's.  The original Sazerac was made with brandy and absinthe.  Over time, Herbsaint replaced the absinthe and rye whiskey replaced the brandy.
Back home, we toyed with the idea of trying to make one ourselves, but decided it just wouldn't be the same.  The Sazerac needs New Orleans for it to be the real thing.  We had crawled out of the 1952 worm hole.  We left the smoldering heat and equally smoldering music behind.  But, by George, I had converted a Hurricane to a Sazerac and needed to celebrate.

"I've got just the thing," my travel buddy declared and went into the kitchen.  I heard some muddling going on in there and he returned with two drinks filled with bourbon and fruit.

"An old-fashioned," he said.  "Because, you know, that's just who we are."

Sharing with my friends at Patti's ever wonderful Visible Monday.  "Here's lookin' at you, kids!"


  1. Where-did-you-get-that-dress? Is it new or vintage? Just love it. It suits you perfectly. New Orleans. Ah, I'm envious.

  2. Lovely photos of New Orleans, bringing back happy memories from a visit many moons ago. Your Dianne von Furstenberg dress is such a great style.

  3. Fabulous dress for the occasion, and the beverage sounds divine! Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.