Ever since acclaimed mixologist Bobby Heugel left Beaver's earlier this year, Houston has been eagerly awaiting the opening of his very own bar, Anvil, located on a precarious curve along Westheimer in Montrose. Alongside Heugel's very unique creations (which are fresh, modern takes on decidedly staid and classic drinks), the bar will also feature antique glassware, homemade spirits, over 100 beers and a small kitchen serving pizzas, salads and sandwiches.
In the spirit of brotherly (and liquor-y) love, Poison Girl -- Anvil's popular neighbor just up the road -- is hosting a Classic American Cocktail Gathering tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m., where Heugel will be previewing five of the cocktails that will be served at Anvil when it opens. And because these are classic American cocktails, after all, they all feature those most American liquors: bourbon and rye whiskey.
The cocktails served tomorrow night will include:
- The Sazerac: Rye, Absinthe, & Peychaud's Bitters
- The Old-Fashioned: Rye & Angostura Bitters
- The Mint Julep: Bourbon & Mint
- The Whiskey Daisy: Bourbon, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon, & Lime
- The Manhattan: Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters
And in honor of these American cocktails, I'd like to share a recipe with you for my favorite of the bunch: that New Orleanian classic, the Sazerac.
The Sazerac is one of the oldest known American cocktails. It traces its routes to 1830s-era New Orleans, where Antoine Amédée Peychaud created a drink from bitters and Cognac. Although the drink came to be traditionally prepared with absinthe, the original recipe doesn't appear to have contained any traces of the green fairy (which is good, considering how difficult absinthe is to obtain).
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The recipe below is my favorite of many variations. Bobby Heugel and Anvil will surely have their own special recipe to add to that mix.
- In a 16 ounce mixing glass, combine one sugar cube or ¼ oz simple syrup with four dashes Peychaud's bitters and one dash of Angostura bitters.
- Muddle until sugar cube is dissolved (not necessary if you'll just use simple syrup).
- Add two ounces of cognac.
- Fill mixing glass with ice and stir contents until well-chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass.
- Add a twist of lemon and serve to your adoring audience as you yell, "Laissez les bon temps roulez!"
--- Katharine Shilcutt