Bartenders at the Fairmont Hotel's Sazerac Bar in New Orleans make the house specialty according to this formula; if you can't find Herbsaint, you may substitute pastis.
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp. Sazerac rye whiskey
- 6 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 tsp. Herbsaint
- 2 thin strips lemon zest
Chill 2 rocks glasses or old-fashioned glasses in the freezer. Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by putting sugar and 1⁄4 cup water into a small saucepan. Cover and boil over high heat, gently swirling pan over heat occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Transfer simple syrup to a small bowl and set aside to let cool completely.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add rye, Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, and 2 tbsp. of the simple syrup (save remaining syrup for another use) and shake well.
Swirl 1 tsp. of the Herbsaint in each glass, coating insides with a thin film, and discard excess. Strain sazerac into glasses and garnish each with a strip of lemon zest.