Best Sazerac in London
Born in the savage 19th century in the slave-driving Southern state of Louisiana, the Sazerac is a cocktail that's older than many Nation States. Although over the years its been added to and twisted out of shape, the Sazerac has always had a Cognac or Whiskey base and is usually made up of a combination of absinth, sugar and Peychaud's Bitters. Circling back to today, this taste of pre-civil war New Orleans can still be found across London. With an abundance of cocktail bars and a knack for reinventing itself every few years, London remains one of the few cities that seems to do the Sazerac justice. Whether it's your favourite drinks, or you just fancy trying it for the first time, here's a list of London bars that have all added their own twists to this classic cocktail.
Based on Rivington Street in the heart of Shoreditch, Nola was one of the first bars outside of the US to offer Sazerac on their cocktail list. Because of their great service to the cause, they were awards the Seal of Sazerac in 2013 from the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. Something tells us they might know a thing or two about this Louisianan treat.
Nestled in the heart of London's centre of re-invention, the White Lyan in Shoreditch doffs its cap to this Louisiana classic through their Moby Dick Sazerac. Combining Mr Lyan Rye with ambergris, absinth rice and Peychaud's, their Sazerac has a distinctly spicy flavour to it. The White Lyan's Sazerac is look no other; unlike most bars, this Shoreditch waterhole rejects traditional brands and instead only uses its own excellently created housed drinks.
Tradition is central to the Mint Leaf Lounge. Alongside a delicious menu of Indian food, the team use their irresistible cocktail list to brings the heat and flavour of the Sub-Continent to the capital. The Sazerac plays a big role here. Using Rye Whiskey and Martells VS Cognac, this City based bar produces a delectable cocktail that's full of flavour and acknowledges the traditional aspect of this concoctions.
Tonic and Remedy take the traditional recipe of a Sazerac cocktail and tweaks it a little. Using Makers Mark Kentucky bourbon as their base, their 'Myst-Erious Sazerac' infuses black cardamom with absinth and candy floss, giving the drink even more personality and a lasting bitter-sweet taste. Sitting just off of Old Street roundabout, Tonic & Remedy's expert mixologists definitely know how to flare a whole load of otherwise-conflicting flavours together.
The dry heat of the Sub-Continent meets the humid feel of New Orleans at Mayfair's premium Indian restaurant, Gymkhana. Named after a typical local sports and social club in Colonial India, the restaurant now boasts an impressive drinks and dinner menu, produced by their talented mixologists and michelin starred chefs. Their Sazerac has a distinct smokey feel to it and is created by stirring La Clandestine Absinth with Peychaud's Bitters and Woodford Reserve whiskey.
Spread across the capital and with hundreds of different alcoholic creations on offer, 5CC's bartenders produce a distinctly traditional Sazerac; combining Whiskey Rye and Cognac with Peychaud's Bitters, they hope to get as close as possible to the mixture produced by Louisianan bartenders in the 1880s. Dimly lit and slightly secluded, the smokey aura and mysterious aspect of this bar seems to compliments the combined flavours of this rustic drink.
As part of Matt Whiley's empire, Peg+Patriot in Bethnal Green offers one of the most intriguing and wonderfully-bizarre cocktail lists in Central London. The award winning mixologist, who was the brains behind The Talented Mr Fox pop-up and the West-End bar Purl, really lets hims creativity flow as he flares together an array of otherwise conflicting spirits. The Salted Beef Sazerac is no exception. Using salted beef beigal and serving the drink with a single packet of mustard, this unique twist is well worth a try.
Arguably one of the most elegant cocktail bars in London, the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel serves a number of classic creations and concoctions produced by the some of the most inventive American mixologists of all time. Roll back the decades with with their timeless Sazerac. Described as the closest 'we will get to the original McCoy', their bartenders use the 150 year-old Sazerac De Forge brandy and 50 year-old Pernod Absinth to produce this Louisianan treat.