The quintessential southern cocktail is still a mystery to most of the public these days. However if you consider yourself to be a bourbon or rye whiskey drinker, this cocktail needs to be in your repertoire.
Take a snifter or an old fashioned glass and pack it with ice, really get it cold and set it aside. Next, in a mixing glass (or for simpler use grab another empty snifter / old fashioned glass) and drop in a sugar cube ,or the equivalent to that, along with a few dash of bitters (Peychaud’s Bitters would be best IMO). Add in an ounce and a half of rye whiskey (bourbon can suffice too, originally cognac was used) and add ice. Stir the mixture of sugar, bitters, liquor, and ice for about 30-45 seconds (get a nice swirl going). After this is completed return to the original snifter that has been sitting packed with ice and empty it. The glass should be nice and chilled. Add in a quarter ounce of absinthe (yes it has been improperly described in modern times as being hallucinogenic) and swirl it around, you want to really coat the entire inside of the chilled glass. Then dump it out leaving only the coating of absinthe remaining. Strain your rye whiskey mixture into the chilled/coated glass, finish it off by twisting a lemon peel over the glass while rubbing the peel on the glass rim.
There my friends is a quick recipe for one of the most ghostly cocktails we have in our short U.S. history. To be frank the drink does take some getting used to, but if you find just the right bar with a competent and professional bartender, you will enjoy every last sip. But why is this not a well known cocktail? Its origins trace back to the 1800’s and it is said to be the father of the Old Fashioned. The cocktail has gone through a few different stages but traditional cajun southerners will all attest that the Sazerac is an all time great.