The Sazerac was invented in New Orleans in the 19th century by a bartender who loved Sazerac, the French brandy. Today rye whiskey forms the base of a cocktail that is incredibly aromatic and sippable thanks to an herbsaint rinse (like a pastis or absinthe), brandy and bitters. It’s a slightly softer, jazzier Manhattan. In other words, it’s all New Orleans.
You can order a delicious version at Peel’s, the new restaurant on the Bowery from the people who own Freeman’s. Or you can make your own for cocktail hour. Here’s a recipe from Esquire that seems quite good.
Peel’s is the brand new, surprisingly polished, very white, comfortable sister to taxidermied hipster restaurant Freeman’s. It’s a slightly more upscale diner with a takeout counter and a big long bar.
The savvy Freeman’s people know that cocktails attract customers like bees to honey, so even though it’s diner food, you can get a pretty damn involved cocktail. That’s why a cocktail is $13 and a cheeseburger is $12. Must be those hand-muddled juices.
a peek at the menu
The wide, high-top wood communal tables on the first floor are my favorite. Peel’s is totally casual, a place you can drop in with pals for an unfussy dinner, cheap beer and a fine Sazerac.
Peel’s, 325 Bowery at E. 2nd St. No website as far as I can tell.