I don't know when it happened. When did ordering a Sazerac cocktail go from being a special treat when I'd sidle up to a bar in New Orleans to being a regular request at any willing and able watering hole north of the Mason-Dixon line?
Moreover, I've made up several in my home - filling an old fashioned glass to the rim with ice, dousing said ice with a slug of absinthe (or Pernod in a pinch), measuring out a portion of good rye into a separate glass with ice, adding a bit of simple syrup, several dashes of Peychaud's bitters and some Angostura for good measure. Then I stir the drink a good while until I'm ready to toss the ice and absinthe drippings in the old fashioned aside, straining the rye elixir into the awaiting anise-coated glass. And, only then do I cut a ribbon of lemon peel, lovingly rubbing it against the glass's edge, twisting it on top of the drink to let the fragrant oils disperse before tossing it into the awaiting beverage.
That's my Sazerac. That's my drink. I love it. And, it's not just for New Orleans any more - at least not in my book.