The Fairmont, The Sazerac Bar, The Ramos Gin Fizz, The Roosevelt, The Roosevelt Hotel, Official Cocktail of New Orleans, Amadie Peychaud, Sazerac Coffee House, Herbsaint, Absinthe, Recipe, Recommendations. Sazerac Recipe, Ramos Gin Fizz Recipe, Cocktails, Cocktail Recipes, Old School Cocktails, How to make a sazerac, where did the sazerac originate, Original Sazerac Recipe


Sazerac Bar

It’s debatable whether New Orleans is the actual birthplace of the cocktail. Drunken folklore about its origins has been passed down for generations, resulting in strong recollections ending up on the wrong side of a foggy hangover. Regardless, New Orleans takes its drinking very serious and they make it ridiculously convenient to always have a cocktail in hand. There is no such thing as “last call” in New Orleans, it’s open 24/7. Bars and liquor stores are in abundance. They have drive-thru daiquiri places, so you never have to leave your car. They have “go-cups” for when you’re ready to leave a bar, so you can finish up your drink on the streets.

Bourbon Street bars may be the main stage, but they’re not the only game in town. There are nearly 1,500 bars in New Orleans and one of the most famous is the Sazerac Bar, located in The Roosevelt hotel. The hotel has had a circular name history. Originally, it was called The Grunewald, but was sold and renamed The Roosevelt. In 1965, it was acquired by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and was named The Fairmont. In 2005, the building suffered major damage from hurricane Katrina and closed. In 2007, the Waldorf-Astoria Collection bought it and renamed it yet again, this time back to The Roosevelt. You may hear locals still refer to it as The Fairmont. However, through all its various incarnations, the Sazerac Bar has remained a constant, right down to the original design - honey-colored African walnut wood and 1930’s WPA-era murals by artist Paul Ninas. It was the watering hole of choice for the “Kingfish” (Louisiana’s 40th Governor, Huey P. Long). His beverage of choice - the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Sazerac Cocktail

The Sazerac is now the official cocktail of New Orleans, just narrowly beating out the Ramos Gin Fizz. It wasn’t a simple task for the concoction to be crowned the Big Easy’s sanctioned adult beverage. It took the Louisiana Legislature 10 different votes, spread out over several debates and a good long month to approve the designation.

The Sazerac waited over 150 years to win the honor. Credit for the drink goes to Creole apothecary Antoine Amadie Peychaud. Back in the 1830’s, he used to concoct a medicinal brew of aromatic bitters for soothing reasons. Just to make it tastier, he mixed it with other ingredients. Soon it caught on and a local coffeehouse named the Sazerac Coffee House began serving the drink, originally with cognac. Over time, slight changes have been made in the recipe, but Peychaud’s Bitters is still a key ingredient. The main ingredient changed from cognac to rye around 1870 when the Sazerac Coffee House changed hands. When absinthe was outlawed in 1912, Herbsaint took its place and more recently with absinthe returning, this has changed back.

Sazerac Recipe

Courtesy of The Fairmont’s Sazerac Bar


1-1/2 ounce of Rye whiskey

1/2 ounce simple syrup (1 part sugar dissolved in 1 part water)

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters



1. Line a short rocks glass with Herbsaint, swirl it around the edges to give the inside of the glass a think coating, then discard the excess.

2. Over ice in a mixing glass, add simple syrup, bitters and Rye. Stir. Strain into the rocks glass.


Lemon Peel: some recipes suggest squeezing lemon peel oils into the drink and then throwing out the peel, others include dropping in the peel. 

Absinthe: further, more recent original recipes call for absinthe again.

Bitters: some have both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters, while others have just Peychaud’s.

Sugar: either a sugar cube which is then muddled with the bitters and then mixed, or simple syrup just mixed with the other ingredients. This depends on whether you prefer a consistent sweetness throughout (simple syrup) or slight variations (sugar cube).

Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz requires labor intensive attention. For a bartender, it gives them the chance to show off a bit, due to its need for constant shaking until the drink thickens enough to hold a straw. But you have to wonder if there are times they’d rather you just order a beer.

The drink was invented by Henry Ramos in 1888 at his own bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. The Roosevelt bought the rights to the drink during Prohibition and trademarked the name.

Ramos Gin Fizz Recipe

Courtesy of The Roosevelt’s Sazerac Bar


- 2 oz gin (Old Tom if you can find it)

- 1 oz heavy cream

- 1 egg white

- 1/2 oz lemon juice

- 1/2 oz lime juice

- 2 teaspoons sugar

- 3 drops orange flower water

- Club soda, to top


1. Shake ingredients with cracked ice for at least a minute.

2. Strain into a chilled rocks glass.

3. Top with a splash of club soda.

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