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Every year, the folks at New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (producer of the annual Tales of the Cocktail extravaganza) tackle the task of searching out the best Sazeracs in New Orleans. It may be a simple cocktail, but it's not always well-executed, and as the official cocktail of New Orleans, the NOCCPS team takes this job seriously. What do they look for?
According to Tales of the Cocktail's Michelle Dunnick, the perfect Sazerac contains all of the major elements (spirit, bitters, sweetness, anise) but is well-balanced; includes a lemon garnish, uses a chilled glass that's been rinsed first with an anise-flavored liquor (herbsaint or absinthe), and contains Peychaud's bitters and rye whiskey. The no-no's? Serving the drink in a martini glass, using a lemon wedge garnish, shaking the cocktail or serving it on the rocks.
They've been compiling the list with a secret team of scouts since 2010, and now the 2013 list of approved bars has been released, with each bar receiving an official Seal of the Sazerac and being annouced at Tales of the Cocktail. So if you're looking for a Sazerac that lives up to its name, this list is a great guide.
Cane and Table
Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court
Galatoire’s 33 Bar
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Twelve Mile Limit
*Hawksworth is the first recipient from outside New Orleans. It's located in Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
Dominique’s on Magazine
Loa in the International House Hotel
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse
Check out our feature on the New Orleans cocktail scene.