Zazarac cocktail with lemon peel
Meet The Zazarac, The Sazerac's Incredibly Complex Cousin
Invented around 1890, the bourbon-based Zazarac is the Sazerac’s long-lost, incredibly complex cousin cocktail. Unlike the Sazerac, this drink never really took off.
The Zazarac might have started as an incorrect spelling error of "Sazerac," and this mistake became a "ripoff" drink that some call "the pirate" of the cocktail world.
In the 1840s, news publications and other media misspelled "Sazerac" as "Zazarac" multiple times, and in 1904, a Montana spirits purveyor made this fake drink a real thing.
This company sold knockoff bottled Sazerac cocktails called Zazaracs. By 1910, Zazaracs became a mix of Angostura bitters and a dash of absinthe served sans ice in a chilled glass.
By 1913, lemon peel, orange bitters, and anisette were added to the recipe. Today's Zazarac, while not wildly popular by any means, is still quite a complicated drink.
Modern recipes for a Zazarac usually include rye or bourbon whiskey, anisette, light rum, anise-flavored pastis, orange, and Angostura bitters, finished off with a lemon twist.