Scotch Sazerac – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Some lost or misguided soul with nothing better to occupy his dime has even devised the Scotch Sazerac but without the elaborate work involved m the original Sazerac. For whatever it may be worth (which is not much), here it is: 

1 part Italian Vermouth 

6 to 10 parts Scotch (according to taste)

1 dash Absinthe to each drink 

Stir with large cubes of ice.

Embury is not a fan of the Sazerac, purely for marketing reasons I suspect and then has a rather coloured approach to anything remotely similar.

When the Sazerac started to spread outside of its New Orleans origins a lot of places marketed it the same was as a Zombie (although the Sazerac was definitely first, by a very long way), and limiting consumption per customer.

I suspect in the Sazerac’s case this was initially due to bad press seeping out of Europe as they got ready to ban Absinthe and all the evils associated with it.

Absinthe has had a bum rap ever since the 1800’s. sure it has a lot of booze inside (to stop the herbal oils making it go cloudy) but anything can make you drunk if you’re not careful about how much you drink, beer for example. And the FDA, as per usual managed to push this fear sky high based on some wonderful not facts.

About 120 years ago a Dr Magnan in France believed Absinthe was a major cause of decline of French culture and conducted experiments where he gave mice and dogs concentrated thujone and wormwood oil, decided they were hallucinating, and therefore if we drank absinthe we would hallucinate. As you can probably see from his scientific method there are a few rather large holes, but it’s this study which still makes people believe that absinthe makes you see things. Thujone is toxic if you consume enough of it, but that’s 30mg in one dose, which is how much you’d find in 3 litres of absinthe, and the thujone is just gives you tremors, tunnel vision and delayed action time, not the severe alcohol poisoning and almost instant death that consuming 3 litres of 68% alcohol would do.

Anyway, it was this that I’m guessing led to the ‘max 2 per customer’ line regarding the drink, and this that earned Embury’s ire.

The really sad thing is that this is a delicious drink, and well worth the time taken to make it, vermouth in a Sazerac is rare, and this recipe creates a very punchy fresh scotch Manhattan.

Happiness in a glass.