The Classic Sazerac

{Cheryl Gerber for The New York Times}



  • 1 3/4 ounces of Old Overholt Rye
  • 1/8 ounce of simple syrup (see note)
  • 11 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
  • 3 dashes Herbsaint liqueur
  • Lemon twist


  1. Chill a rocks glass. Meanwhile, in a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, mix the rye, simple syrup and bitters and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the Herbsaint into the chilled rocks glass and rotate until the liqueur coats the inside of the glass. Strain the contents of the mixing glass into the rocks glass. Rub the lemon twist along the rim of the rocks glass, twist over the drink and discard.
  3. NOTE

    • To make simple syrup, warm 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

    A New Bar That Only Serves Dark Spirits, Neat

    Copper & Oak, situated on the Lower East Side, boasts a back bar of more than 600 different brown spirits.
    But guests will find no cocktails on the menu and mixers are limited to a choice of soda water or ginger ale, all of which are served in a separate glasses if ordered.
    “We are not against cocktails, we are just pro-spirits,” Joel Cuellar, “spirits sommelier”, told the New York Daily News. “If someone wants a whisky and ginger ale, I won’t refuse, but I will serve it in separate glasses.” Melita Kiely, The Spirits Business

    This is very exciting news. As many of you know, I love my whiskeys neat, so as soon as Copper & Oak opens, I'm going to head down there and have them pour me a stiff drink.

    That said, as a ginger lover, I do like that they'll allow a ginger ale mixer. It's still August, and sometimes you need some ice and bubbles in your Bourbon.

    I'm not sure when it's officially open yet, but we'll look into it and report back!

    Lushing in the Great Outdoors (of the City)

    In the summer, whiskey lovers already have to put up with weird looks when we're the only ones drinking Bourbon, neat while everyone else is sipping on refreshing, herb-garnished, clear, sparkling cocktails.

    We don't also want to have to deal with drinking our beloved whiskey in a hot, stuff bar when the weather outside is lovely.

    For a mostly vertical city, New York actually has a surprising number of fun outdoor spots, whether you just want a quick post-work happy hour drink, or a fancier cocktail during an elegant night out.

    One of our favorites blogs for all things food and drinks, Serious Eats, has put together a great guide to drinking outdoors this summer.

    For Cocktails with View in Brooklyn, check out the Ides at the Wythe Hotel:
    "At night, the Wythe Hotel's sixth-floor bar can get, well, sceney. (Bouncer, rope to wait behind; you can imagine the rest.) But in the earlier hours, when things are a bit lower-key, it's a stunningly beautiful place to have a drink. Even from within the bar itself, picture windows give you a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. Head out to the terrace for a walk around, and you'll see across half of Brooklyn, up and down the East River, and more."

    [Photograph: Chris LehaultSerious Eats]
    To feel like you're escaping the city, head over to Maison Premiere:
    "It's hard to find another word: Maison Premiere's back garden is magical. With elegant greenery and wrought-iron tables, tiny lights twinkling overhead, it's hard to imagine anywhere better. Arrive for an early brunch, and you'll likely snag a seat without too much of a wait."
    [Photograph: Rabi AbonourSerious Eats]
    If you have a big group, go to Lavender Lake:
    "For many of us, Gowanus is a bit of a trek. But once you experience Lavender Lake, you'll understand that it's worth it. Walk through the spacious venue, past the long, stately bar, and you're met with a double-level patio with enough room for any group. Equally pleasant by day (opens at 4 p.m. weeknights, 2 p.m. weekends) and night. It's a popular spot, but we've never seen it too busy to be enjoyable."

    For the rest of the list, head over to Serious Eats

    Whiskey Ice Cream? Nom.

    {All photos by Rebecca Palmer of Lifescapes Photography, Baltimore Post Examiner}

    I was perusing world of whiskey-related news when I came across one of the most delicious looking things I've ever seen: Bourbon flavored ice cream.

    Pam Desmond, of the Baltimore Post Examiner, was texted a photo of this magical thing by her sister, which of course led her to go looking for it.

    She says Steve’s Ice Cream is available at Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and other natural and gourmet food markets, which is definitely going to be my next stop after work. 

    To read more about how delicious it is, check out Pam's blog post.

    You're Invited! Women Who Whiskey: Gentlemen Edition

    You are cordially invited to this spring's first Women Who Whiskey: Gentlemen Edition! 

    Monday, June 2, 6-9pm

    10 Delancey Street 

    To enjoy a whiskey and good company in a delightful bar with an outdoor patio and a great cocktail list! 

    Please join your favorite Women Who Whiskey, and a few select gentlemen guests, for a drink! 

    Hope to see you there!

    Who Wants To Go In On Liters and Liters of Barrel-Aged Cocktails With Me?

    {via Bourbon & Banter}

    There's nothing I love more than a properly made barrel-aged cocktail. A few bars serve them in the city, but only a couple I've been too - Elsa (a delightful cocktail bar in Alphabet City) and Maysville (Char No. 4's sister restaurant)- really do it right.

    Barrel-aged cocktails have all the richness of a freshly mixed cocktail, but a much deeper, more mellow undertone that comes from giving all the ingredients time to hang out and get to know each other.

    Bourbon & Banter outlines the process of barrel aging at home, and even provides a great recipe to try:

    Barrel Aged Vice Presidential Manhattan
    • 2 Bottles Jefferson’s Bourbon
    • 4 oz. Sweet Vermouth (I used Dolin)
    • 1.2 oz. Blood Orange Bitters  (I used Fee Brothers)
    • .8 oz. Orange Bitters (I used Peychaud’s)
    • 4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur (I used Maraska)

    However, this is no small or quick feat. As they say,

    "A caveat: when barrel aging cocktails, you are undertaking a real liquor investment and you will need a lot of booze. So make sure you are making a cocktail that you will like to either drink copious amounts of yourself, or you are comfortable dishing out to all of your friends. It is also a time investment, as I recommend allowing your cocktail to age for at least 4-6 weeks. Yes: you must wait a month or more for your drink."
    That said, I'd love to try it. Maybe this fall, when it starts to get chilly again. To read more about the process of barrel aging cocktails, check out the rest of the post here.

    Anyone want to go in on a few liters of barrel-aged Manhattan with me?

    What Does It Mean to Drink Like a Woman?


    "I wonder how men will respond to women’s incursion into the whiskey market. Traditionally we’ve seen male flight. As an activity, occupation, or product is increasingly associated with women, men leave. In a society where women keep infiltrating more and more of men’s domains, this is a bad long-term strategy for maintaining dominance (see, for example, the feminization of education). As I ask in my forthcoming sociology of gender textbook: What will happen when women are sipping from all the bottles?"

    Read more here.

    Women in Whiskey History


    Getty Images

    “Women bootleggers ranged from the pretty faces to the shot callers. They included one-time bootleggers looking to make quick cash and rich women financing ships hauling $100,000 worth of smuggled whiskey. Women were so good that, at one point, agents believed female bootleggers outsold the men five sales to one.”
    Getty Images
    “Much like aqua vitae was used for treatments from the 1500s to 1700s in Europe, whiskey was the chosen remedy for coughs, runny noses, rashes, chills, fevers, and just about everything else. American pregnant women dosed up on whiskey to ease the pain of childbirth and to relax after labor.”
    For more about the secret history of the fairer sex and your favorite drink, check out  6 Ways Women Made Whiskey What It Is, on Esquire. 

    Jack Rose Saloon: Women Who Whiskey in Washington!

    Women Who Whiskey has finally arrived in Washington, DC!

    The Jack Rose Saloon
    {via Yelp}

    wWw had its inaugural event at The Jack Rose Saloon, a raucous reference library of whiskies from around the world, featuring some choice local selections as well.  

    We tested out Jack Rose’s Whiskey Cellar, a more intimate space that’s out the back, down the emergency exit stairwell, past a nice fellow with a clipboard named Yvan, and through a Japanese-style sliding door into an Adirondack style drawing room.

    True to wWw form, we got into a bit of trouble, and, in typical wWw fashion, we managed to charm our way out of trouble.

    The event was a bigger hit than even I had expected, and we managed to test Jack Rose’s policy on limiting the number of people allowed in the special Whiskey Cellar.  That venue is only open on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Saturday nights a reservation is mandatory.  (The Cellar normally doesn't take large groups, but made an exception for this smooth talker.)  Still, it's an atmospheric, intimate spot with a speakeasy vibe and a warm glow that goes perfectly with a whiskey neat. 

    Drinks were much appreciated by these friends/coworkers,
    who toasted to Friday nights and probably tried to bill
    the whiskey as an "expense".

    As opposed to the upstairs main room, where large crowds have bartenders zipping around the whisky shelves like an Oxford librarian and flipping cocktails with athletic speed and precision, the Cellar has one bartender who carefully crafts each cocktail, and he’s in no rush.  

    Our Manhattans and Old Fashions took some time, but when they came we were very happy with the results.

    Celebrating birthdays, engagements, weddings, and life!

    Jack Rose’s selection is extensive and changes frequently, so it’s best to discuss your order with the bartenders and have them point you in the right direction.

    I have to find more of
    this nectar of the God-like
    I ended up drinking a Barterhouse 20-Year Old Bourbon (Orphan Barrel), a lovely, sweet, spicy, charred-oak whiskey, NEAT (a friend ordered it up and that turned the whiskey from “somewhat delicate and complex” to “meh” right quick.

    wWw is now in the District! Washingtoniennes/Distrixes, keep an eye out for future events.

    Women of DC who like whiskey (and friends of!), here is my card
    Women who like whiskey, and people who like those women who whiskey (teetotalers, gentleman, etc.), you've got a new community right here.

    It's was a pleasure hosting the inaugural Women Who Whiskey (Washington, DC Chapter) event. Here's looking to a many more!



    Women Who Whiskey: Revival Bar

    So we didn't actually get to celebrate spring at Revival Bar. 

    If I had done my homework, I would have learned that their beautiful backyard patio was under construction. But I didn't, so we ended up inside.  

    In the end it was a great opportunity to check out how they'd remodeled the entire place, including a huge upstairs space. 

    The theme seemed to be modern rustic wood cabin, and with the lingering smell of cedar, it really felt like we were out of the city and drinking our whiskey in the wild (almost). 

    Although the downstairs area around the bar got a little crowded,
     upstairs was very spacious and comfortable. 

    Our event had a great turnout, including a hearty showing of ladies from my work! Work hard, play hard, ladies! 

    If you see women holding wine instead of whiskey it's because there was an irresistible happy hour deal on wine. Don't worry, we had some whiskey after! 

     I wanted to try to cocktails (my litmus test for a bar is how they make a Manhattan), but they were inexplicably out of Vermouth! So instead I had a Bulleit Rye neat, a safe go-to. 

    They had a great selection of whiskey, and a very friendly bartender who graciously kept me entertained while I waited for the ladies. 

    And this is Tommy, the delightful gentleman manning the door. He had us in stitches with his hilarious stories of car chases gone awry (he used to be a police officer) and rescue scenarios. 

    Near Union Square, Revival Bar is extremely central, and a great place to grab a casual drink after work. 

    I highly recommend it, and can't wait to go back to check out the backyard patio! 

     129 East 15th Street 
    (between 3rd Ave and Irving Place)

    You're Invited! wWw DC: Jack Rose Dining Saloon

    You are cordially invited to join your favorite whiskey-drinking ladies for a special 
    Women Who Whiskey: D.C. Edition

    Jack Rose Dining Saloon, in the Whiskey Room 
    2007 18th St. NW, Washington D.C.

    Friday, March 28, 7 pm - 9 pm

    To enjoy some delicious cocktails with your favorite whiskey-loving ladies! 

    Cocktail attire please! 

    Looking forward to seeing you there,

    You're Invited! wWw NY: Cheers to Spring!

    You are cordially invited to toast to Spring's very belated arrival! 

    Friday, March 28, 6 pm - 9 pm

    Revival Bar, 129 East 15th Street (between 3rd Ave and Irving Place)

    To celebrate the end of the cold (fingers crossed) with a stiff drink in a beautiful backyard garden with your favorite whiskey-loving ladies! 

    Come with warm weather optimism, but bring a sweater, just in case. 

    Looking forward to seeing you there! 

    Distiller: A New Whiskey App!

    There's a new app that's all about whiskey! 


    The Baltimore Post-Examiner gives a great review:
    "Distiller is a new app designed to help you choose your next bottle of whiskey. 
    Other apps give you tasting notes and ratings, but Distiller looks at your personal ratings, as well as expert ratings and flavor profiles, and suggests your next whiskey purchase.
    It has some fun features.  When looking for a new bottle, it asks where you will be enjoying it: by the fireplace, poker night, outdoors, etc.  Sadly, there is not an option for “in front of the TV watching House of Cards,” because that’s my real answer (although you can choose the couch on the iPad version).  I haven’t played around with it enough to detect a pattern in how the recommendations change based on location, but it’s still fun.
    For each recommendation you request, you can specify a region (American, Scotch, Irish, World), a price range, how adventurous you would like to get, and whether you’re looking for a gift, something new, something for your collection, etc. 
    As you rate whiskeys and add your favorites to your “Top Shelf,” Distiller learns your preferences."

    I haven't tried it yet--unfortunately I haven't been doing a lot of whiskey drinking since I downloaded it yesterday--but I've heard good things, and I'm excited to see how it works!

    Especially the feature that gets to know what you like and makes recommendations. I often stick with my tried and true, and this will be a good incentive to drink outside the box!

    Have you tried it? Let us know what you think! 

    Women Who Whiskey: Birthday Happy Hour Edition

    You are cordially invited to join your favorite whiskey-drinking ladies for a special 
    Women Who Whiskey: Birthday Edition Happy Hour!

    We'll be combining two of my favorite things--whiskey and happy hour--for a wWw celebration on the evening of my 29th birthday!

    Women Who Whiskey: Birthday Edition Happy Hour
    The Whiskey Ward (121 Essex between Rivington and Delancey - one block from the F and J trains)
    Tuesday, January 28th 6:30 - 9pm

    Please come join us for a drink after work! Bar allowing, we'll have snacks and cupcakes.

    Looking forward to celebrating my birthday with you, I hope to see you all! 

    Call or text me with any RSVP changes or questions: Julia 617.599.0660

    wWw Holiday Edition at Flatiron Room

    Last Wednesday we decided to host an impromptu event to have one last drink together before we all went our separate ways for the holidays. 

    We chose the Flatiron Room, for it's cozy ambiance, live music, and well-crafted cocktails. 

    The bartender pouring a flaming drink

    Flatiron Room is famous for its "Bottle Keep" service.

    Good whiskey is meant to be enjoyed at your leisure and preferably in the company of good friends. We created our “Bottle Keep” program for this very reason. Most of our whiskeys can be purchased by the dram or by the bottle. If you come across an expression you really like then you might consider purchasing the bottle. 
    It works like this: You purchase your favorite bottle and enjoy as much as you’d like at your table. When you’ve had enough, we’ll tag it with your name and store it safely in our Bottle Keep. 
    You’ll also receive some “Entitlement Cards”. These cards give the holder authorization to drink off the bottle (so be careful who you give them to!). Next time you come by simply give the server your Entitlement Card and we’ll fetch your bottle. It’s a lot of fun and it makes a great gift. 
     The bottles are kept in beautiful, softly lit lockers that line and decorate the length of the bar. 

    The "Bottle Keep" Locker

    We started off the evening with a round of Old Fashioneds at the bar, while we waited for our table, and perused the menu of Tasting Flights and Classic Cocktails.

    An Old Fashioned

    When we finally sat down we got a round of Templeton Manhattans, straight up, and waited for our food--truffled mac and cheese, mushroom pizza, and beet salad. We were starving! 

    The Flatiron Room's standard is a Perfect Manhattan (made with half sweet and half dry vermouth) and served with a twist. Personally, that how I prefer it--something about the citrus aroma really opens up the flavors--but Kim was a little disappointed that they didn't have brandied cherries. 

    Templeton Manhattans

    Given the last minute nature of the invitation, we had a small group, but it gave us the chance to catch up with each other and share an intimate evening over delicious drinks and tasty snacks.

    Mary and Julia

    Julia and Andrea

    Kim and Elizabeth

    The live jazz was a delightful addition to the cozy, timeless atmosphere. 

    The Flatiron Room is the perfect place for a quiet evening with friends, or a romantic, intimate evening with a lover. 

    At around $15 each, the cocktails are a little on the pricy side, even for Manhattan, but they're impeccably mixed and the service is flawless, so it's worth the little extra, especially if you want to impress.

    37 W 26th Street
    (6th Ave)

    wWw at the WhistlePig Holiday Party!

    After hosting a wildly successful event with Whistlepig in November, launching The Boss Hog--WhistlePig's new Single Barrel Barrel Strength Rye--I was delighted to hear back from the folks at WhistlePig with an invitation to their annual Holiday Party.

    Hosted at Webster Hall--in the 126-year-old speakeasy below that used to be frequented by Al Capone and his cronies--the party was already in full swing when we arrived at 8:30.

    The band--bedecked in festive holiday attire--was singing a mix of old tunes and 1920s renditions of contemporary pop songs. A great mix that got everyone in the mood to drink and dance! 

    As soon as we walked in we were handed a glass of Whistlepig and photographed.
    True VIP treatment! 

    Caitlin, Kim, and Julia

    The WhistlePig Stewards of the Brand--our new friend Ben and our old friend Michael--were gracious hosts and answered all of our questions about the tasty whiskey we were sampling. 

    Ben and Michael

    Behind us, some rambunctious guests were getting up to some shenanigans! 

    And others were sporting festive 1920s getups--vests, furs and pearls, and suspenders--imbuing the whole evening with a vintage vibe. 

    The dapper WhistlePig gentlemen.

    Back in the speakeasy bar, the bartender was secretly pulling pranks,

     and we were grinning with glee, after discovering the event was open bar!

    Which meant a celebratory glass of champagne was in order!

    Before we called it a night, we finally managed to track down Michael for some photos!

    Thank you to Michael, and the whole WhistlePig family for inviting us to be part of such a delightful and festive evening! We had so much fun, and it was a the perfect kick off to the holiday season.

    Happy Holidays!

    {All photos courtesy of WhistlePig}

    A Delightful Evening with WhistlePig at WardIII!

    Last Monday at WardIII Women Who Whiskey presented WhistlePig's new release, The Boss Hog.

    WardIII is one of my favorite bars in the city--we've hosted several wWw events there--and they were delighted to have us back once more. There was a good crowd for a Monday night, and everyone was excited about getting to try the new WhistlePig! 

    Michael Hodge, WhistlePig's Steward of the Brand

    We kicked off the evening at 8pm with a tasting of WhistlePig Straight Rye--a classic favorite--and then moved onto serving The Boss Hog. 

    Michael Hodge, WhistlePig's Steward of the Brand, introduced the new whiskey and gave us a little bit of background.

    Nereyda, Erin, and Slater 
    The Boss Hog is a single barrel, barrel-strength rye, and being single barrel, it's a limited edition--with only 900 bottles in NY! We were lucky enough to have one of those bottles, and it definitely went fast. 

    Most whiskeys are diluted down to about 40% alcohol by volume before being bottled, both to produce a more palatable product for consumers, and to amplify the amount of whiskey produced. 

    Manny, enjoying his drink

    Some whiskeys, however, are bottled at cask strength--or barrel-strength--at the original 60% abv or so. This results in a richer, but also much much stronger, whiskey. 

    Joanna, Sarika, Alex, and Michael
    The Boss Hog, being barrel-strength, definitely put some hair on our chests! 

    And people weren't just interested in drinking it, they were interesting in learning about it too! We kept Michael occupied for the better part of the tasting, teaching us about his delicious new whiskey.

    Alex, Nereyda, Cheryl, Erin, Julia, Mike leaning in to hear more about The Boss Hog
     After the tasting ended at 9pm, the talented WardIII bartenders had a variety of WhistlePig inspired cocktails waiting for us to try.

    I had my usual Manhattan, which was especially delightful with WhistlePig, and thanks to Mikey's magical mixologist's touch. Ryan defied the laws of wWw and ordered a glass of red wine. For shame! 

    Ryan and Julia
    The launch, which was supposed to only run until 10, was still going strong at almost midnight. But eventually, it being a school night and all, we wrapped it up and took ourselves home. 

    A huge thanks to WardIII for having us, and to WhistlePig, for sharing its delicious new Rye. 

    If these smiling faces are any indication, it seems like the event was a hit! 

    Matt, Kim, Joanna, Sarika, Alex and some new friends! 

    Portland Launch Party a Success!

    Last week, Women Who Whiskey's Portland chapter celebrated its launch! We held the launch at the Pope House Bourbon Lounge, a fantastic whiskey bar in a beautiful old Victorian house in northwest Portland. 

    Cassandra, Laura, and I arrived early in time for Pope House's happy hour. Sierra, a bartender at Pope House, started us out with the Half Man, bourbon, vermouth, rocks, twist, basically a sweet manhattan without the bitters. It was delicious and the price--$5--even more so. The wonderful cocktail server Sarah took care of our four tables for the rest of the evening, helping us choose whiskeys to taste and doing an impeccable job dividing the tab at the end. 

    The fabulous Cher and Emily. Emily, ever the champion of whiskey, came out even though she wasn't feeling well and didn't drink a drop. We love the dedication!

    Laura, Cassandra, and other students from Willamette University's School of Law toast with High West Double Rye, because nothing makes legal briefs and case studies more tolerable than whiskey.

    Aura, Eileen, Catherine, Hilda, and Megan.

    You know it's a serious whiskey bar when this is how the water is served. 

    Fall was in full swing for the launch.

    Samantha led a toast with Buffalo Trace Private Reserve, a batch brewed especially for Pope House. It's very spicy and peppery compared to normal Buffalo Trace and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We're so glad such an awesome group came out for this launch and we thank the Pope House for being so accommodating to this rambunctious, whiskey-loving group of women! Stayed tuned for Portland's next event in mid-December!