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New Orleans Declares Sazerac Its Cocktail of Choice

The Louisiana House of Representatives made a historic decision Monday: In a 62-33 vote, legislators proclaimed the Sazerac — the famed mix of rye whiskey, bitters and absinthe that originated in the bayou — New Orleans' official cocktail.

The drink's origins date back to the 1830s, when a Creole apothecary named Antoine Peychaud concocted a potent recipe at his pharmacy in the French Quarter. Peychaud combined his family's secret recipe for bitters with cognac and began serving the drink to friends.

Although the Sazerac can be found across New Orleans' drinking establishments, Peychaud's bitters remain the key to creating this iconic cocktail.

NPR's Robert Siegel prepares a Sazerac under the strict guidance of Lu Brow, bar chef at the Swizzle Stick Bar in downtown New Orleans. Brow calls the Sazerac a "wonderful, complex" cocktail and adds, "If ever there was a city that deserved an official drink, it was New Orleans."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.