Cocktail with whiskey poured in
Whiskey Is What Sets Sazerac And Old Fashioned Cocktails Apart
While both cocktails are all about the balance of whiskey, sugar, and bitters, the old fashioned uses bourbon whiskey, while the sazerac uses rye.
Invented in New Orleans, sazerac is made of rye, sugar, and Peychaud’s bitters, a light, sweet, bright red bitter. It’s served on ice in a glass rinsed with a spoon of absinthe.
The rye makes sazeracs quite spicy and peppery, rounded out by the anise of the absinthe and the bitters for a dry yet dimensional cocktail that isn’t too sweet.
The cocktail comes in at a modest 19.05% alcohol by volume. Its few variations include swapping in brandy for rye, which first evolved in NOLA's French Quarter.
Originating in New York, an old fashioned is made of bourbon, Angostura bitters, and simple syrup served in a chilled glass with an orange twist or Luzardo cherry garnish.
The bourbon creates a sweeter, richer base which the sugar softens while the bitters add a depth of flavor and prevent the drink from becoming too sweet.
An old fashioned is quite strong at 32.87% alcohol by volume. Many variations exist, including swapping in mezcal or using Scotch and lemon, which was Mark Twain's favorite.