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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads across America.
Sunday, June 19, 2022, is the day we honor the favorite father figure in our lives.
While many people spend some extra money on gifts or services for dear old dad, others simply spend some extra time with their dads.
That extra time can mean everything.
One author of a new book has his own suggestion for a special treat for dad.
Texas-based Michael P. Foley, author of the irreverent “Drinking with the Saints: Cocktails and Spirits for Saints and Sinners” (Regnery Publishing), believes that a “Sazerac is an excellent way to honor dad on Father’s Day.”
Foley has six children of his own and is a professor of patristics (the study of early Christian writers) at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He teaches in the honors college.
The book originally came out a few years and was reissued in a new edition earlier this year.
He said the Sazerac is “one of the oldest cocktails on the books if not the oldest.”
He told the story: “Around 1850, bar owner Aaron Bird invented the concoction by combining two ingredients promoted by his friends: a cognac named Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils imported by Sewell T. Taylor, and bitters made by a local apothecary named Antoine Peychaud. The Sazerac was considered by some to be a ‘morning cocktail’ because the Peychaud bitters were thought to have medicinal value. Today, most quaffers prefer to wait until evening — unless, of course, you are having a Father’s Day brunch.”
He added, “The Sazerac has undergone two other changes over the years. In 1870, cognac was replaced with a quintessential American liquor — rye whiskey — after a phylloxera epidemic devastated France’s vineyards.”
Foley said the first Sazeracs were also made with absinthe, “a spirit made from wormwood and green anise seed.”
Then, “in 1912, absinthe was banned in the U.S. on the grounds that it contained a dangerous hallucinogen with psychoactive properties,” he said. “Yet as it turns out, all the Bohemian artists who drank absinthe like it was water were going insane — not from absinthe itself, but from alcohol poisoning.”
So, in 2007, he said, “the spirit was legalized again and is available in brands like Absente and Pernod Absinthe Superieure.”
Foley added, “You can, however, also use Herbsaint, a New Orleans anise liqueur that replaced absinthe during its long prohibition.”
He shared a simple way to make a Sazerac for all those interested in honoring dad in this fashion — today or any day.
1 splash of absinthe
½-1 tsp. simple syrup, depending on taste (or a sugar cube)
2 oz. rye whiskey
2 dashes Peychaud bitters
1 lemon twist
Chill an old-fashioned glass and, if you like, the rye.
Put the absinthe in a small spray bottle and mist the interior of the glass with a couple of sprays.
Add simple syrup, Peychaud bitters and rye, and stir well.
Garnish with a twist of lemon after expressing some of its oils into the drink.
Added Foley, “I recommend using a fine rye such as Woodford Reserve. Because a Sazerac traditionally takes little to no ice, its flavors are not diluted by water or dulled by cold.”
He also said, “Less intrepid souls, however, may wish to mix the ingredients in crushed ice and then strain into a chilled glass.”
Michael P. Foley’s recipe for the Sazerac cocktail is from “Drinking with the Saints” and appears here with permission.