Sazerac is not only a cocktail, but a company that has its roots in 1850's New Orleans, when Aaron Bird bought the Merchant Exchange "coffeehouse" (i.e. saloon) from Sewell Taylor, a local businessman and liquor importer. Bird renamed the building the Sazerac Coffeehouse, and began to use Sazerac du Forge et Fils brandy in a cocktail that included sugar, water, absinthe and Peychaud's bitters. This drink came to be called the Sazerac.
In 1869, Thomas Handy bought the Sazerac Coffeehouse and began to build a spirits importation company. He bought the rights to Peychaud's in 1873, and by 1890, was producing a bottled Sazerac cocktail with rye whiskey instead of brandy.
The modern company was founded by Handy's secretary, C.J. O'Reilly, and has been in the liquor business ever since, except during Prohibition, when they were a grocery store and delicatessen.
The Sazerac company is family owned, and operates quite a few major distilleries: Buffalo Trace, Glenmore, A. Smith Bowman, Fleischmann and Barton. They also own the Mr. Boston brand.
Some popular cocktails containing Sazerac
- Cheeky Sazerac — Rye, Herbal liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, Aperol, Simple syrup
- Rinse & Repeat — Old Tom Gin, Sweet vermouth, Aperol, Rye, Absinthe, Grapefruit peel
- Meat Hook — Rye, Sweet vermouth, Islay Scotch, Maraschino Liqueur, Brandied cherry
- Two Birds — Rye, Aperol, Sweet vermouth, Crème de Cacao, Peychaud's Bitters
- Rattle-Snake Cocktail — Rye, Absinthe, Lemon juice, Egg white, Rich simple syrup 2:1
- Summer Rye — Rye, Elderflower liqueur, Champagne, Cider, Lemon juice, Apple, Simple syrup
- Ali-Frazier — Rye, Triple sec, Fernet Branca, Lemon juice
- Whoa, Nellie! — Rye, Dark rum, Orange liqueur, Grapefruit juice, Lemon juice, Simple syrup
- Foreign Affairs — Rye, Dry vermouth, Campari, Maraschino Liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, Simple syrup, Orange peel, Orange
- Heathen VC — Rye, Armagnac, Sweet vermouth, Triple sec, Bitters, Absinthe