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Pimp My Rye

One of America's first cocktails is now a staple of drink menus. Marcos Tello from the Varnish illustrates how to make L.A.'s swellest Sazerac

1

Your Bartender

Tello has been tending at the Varnish bar since it opened in February. You'll also find him at the Edison's "Radio Room" nights.

2

Add Bitters

Splash just enough Peychaud's bitters to cover the bottom, without touching the sides, of a chilled pint glass.

3

Drop in Sugar

Add one sugar cube and allow it to soak up some of the bitters, then mash to form a paste.

4

Add Rye

Measure 2 oz. of Old Overholt rye whiskey. The higher you pour, the stronger the impact, which helps dissolve the sugar.

5

Ice It

With a spoon, hand-crack enough ice to fill the glass, then stir. Taste. For more sweetness, agitate to dissolve remaining sugar.

6

Spritz

Using and atomizer, mist the inside of the chilled whiskey glass with absinthe (yes, it's legal now). Three sprays should do it.

7

Pour

Strain the contents of the pint glass into the chilled whiskey glass.

8

Garnish

Squeeze a lemon rind over the drink to release the oils. Wipe it around the rim of the glass to coat, then set on top.

9

Drink Up

Enjoy your Sazerac—the best in town. And don't forget to tip.

 

Photographs by Manny Aguirre