What's cooler than a great cocktail? A cocktail that changes as you drink it! We cook with heat, but we make cocktails with ice. Ice melts, and if you use flavorings in your ice you create a cocktail that evolves as it sits and the ice melts.
In the previous post I mentioned that Peggy Noe Stevens, bourbon goddess, first female master taster and founder of the Bourbon Women invited Bourbon Women to her house for an evening of Noe Boundaries focused on bourbon, entertaining and women in the field. I created two cocktails for the evening, the first a summer crowd-pleaser for bourbon and non-bourbon drinkers alike (the Berry Fine).
For this drink, I wanted to keep to a classic, but make something that could be easily assembled for a large number of guests, in keeping with the entertaining theme. Sazeracs, an old and classic drink, fit the bill, and by creating an ice cube with everything except the whiskey, you can place once in a glass, add your rye and be on the way to an amazing cocktail.
A traditional sazerac has a bit of absinthe (usually in the form of a rinsed glass), rye whiskey, sugar and Peychaud's bitters. For this recipe, I put the bitters and the simple syrup into the ice cube with a garnish of an anise seed. I call this one Darwin's Sazerac since it becomes more sweet and bitter as the ice cube melts into the rye whiskey.
Sazerac Ice Cubes
To make 12 in a cupcake tin
6 oz simple syrup
36 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
12 oz water
Combine ingredients in a measuring cup, stir well, and pour a little more than 1.5 ounces in each cupcake bowl. If you choose to put a garnish in with it, lemon peel and star anise are both great for Sazeracs. Freeze at least 24 hours. To remove from the tin, place the tin in a shallow dish of warm (not hot) water and check every 20 to 30 seconds to see if they are loose enough to remove. Store in the freezer until needed.
1 Sazerac Ice Cube
2 oz chilled Michter’s rye
Spritz of absinthe
Spritz a rocks glass with a couple sprays of absinthe in an atomizer. Drop in one Sazerac ice cube. Add 2 ounces of chilled Michter’s rye. Garnish with a lemon twist. Let the ice melt slowly and enjoy the evolution. (Chilling the rye helps extend the amount of time the cocktail evolves.)
And finally, at the end, when it's melted, it's pure joy!
Heather Wibbels is a cocktail enthusiast who spends her time thinking about cocktails, researching cocktails and making cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.