It’s Strong And It Smells. But It’s Oh-So-Good. Who Makes Dallas’ Best Sazerac?

In most circumstances, the last thing you want your date to say to you — in any event — is, “I can smell it from here!” But, in the case of a great cocktail, odds are you’ve got something good going.

This is the case anytime I order some oddly worded perplexity at a bar. Most cocktails have medicinal origins, which makes sense.

Would “Cialis” not be a great name for a drink? I digress…

The sazerac has seen a bit of a niche popularity boom in Dallas the past few years, with Victor Tango’s spearheading the 1850 New Orleans-born cocktail out of classic literature and into our gastro pub-loving souls.

Victor Tango’s still has the best Sazerac in town. And they’ve hardly changed it from its original ingredients: rye whiskey, Peychaud’s and Angostura Bitters, house-made simple syrup.

What they’re not telling you — and, granted, you shouldn’t see listed on a menu — is that Absinthe is used to “rinse” the glass and then discarded. (At Victor Tango’s they shoot it into the glass with an atomizer.) It’s part of the reason the drink usually shows up as an unimpressively small two-fingered shot — until you see the legs of the drink sticking to the sides like a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

Order one at Victor Tango’s if you want the real deal, and try it with cognac and then with rye whiskey if you want to take a historical journey in the changing of this drink’s ingredient list.

After that, take an opportunity to take advantage of the sazerac’s current popularity, and try a more palatable variation of it like the one at Neighborhood Services Tavern. Their “American In Paris” drink is described as a blend of a sazerac and a Manhattan and is served martini-style with berries on the pick.

The Real Deal: Victor Tango’s Sazerac.
Prepared and served the original way. Rotated, never shaken. Takes effort to drink, like
any fulfilling, but challenging drink should. You can order yours either with Rye Whiskey or its original spirit, Cognac. Try them both, but I prefer Rye.

The Variation: Neighborhood Services Tavern’s “American In Paris.”
Lighter and served full martini-style with berries on the pick with whiskey. It’s a great hint at a classic drink without the wincing involved. Fruit aids the simple syrup in being more palatable and easy to drink. You get more to drink this way, too.

But, remember, both versions are just as hard to take in multiple rounds. Absinthe is dangerous no matter what its incarnation, my friends.

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