In 1838, Antoine Amedee Peychaud, a New Orleans apothecary, invented the cocktail. He created a special elixir he called bitters and combined it with a popular French cognac, Sazerac de Forge et Fils. He served this drink to patrons as a pick-me-up.
The classic two-sided French eggcup it was served in was called a coquetier. When English-speaking Americans began to visit his apothecary, they mispronounced the word, asking for a cock-tay, which eventually became known as the cocktail.
By 1873, American rye whiskey replaced the French cognac. After prohibition was repealed in 1933, the pastis Herbsaint was created and became part of the classic cocktail. The chilled glass is an essential component of this heady drink, so don't neglect that detail.
In her new book, Tujague's Cookbook, Poppy Tooker shows us how to perfect this iconic drink.
Chill an old fashioned glass by filling it with ice and water. Leave the glass to chill while preparing the rest of the glass.
In a separate bar mixing glass, combine simple syrup, bitters, rye whiskey and ice. Stir.
Discard the ice water. Add Herbsaint to chilled old fashioned glass and rinse by tossing the glass into the air. Discard the Herbsaint. Strain thechilled whiskey mixture into the glass. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to release its essence, then discard.