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Sazerac

The roots of the Sazerac Company, one of the largest distilling companies in the United States, go back to 1830s New Orleans, when Creole pharmacist Antoine Peychaud created his bitters (which would eventually become known as Peychaud’s Bitters). In the 1850s, Sewell Taylor started serving the Sazerac cocktail in his coffee house, made with French brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters - this proved to be a very popular libation indeed.

In 1869, Thomas H. Handy bought the coffee house and named it the Sazerac Coffee House after the cocktail, and started to acquire and market drinks brands, including Peychaud’s Bitters in 1873 when Antoine Peychaud sold the rights to the brand. The Sazerac Company started to bottle the cocktail in the 1890s, though with an altered recipe - they were using rye whiskey instead of French brandy, a change which happened when phylloxera started to dramatically affect the brandy’s production.

As the Sazerac Company has grown, it has taken on some huge brands - notably it acquired Buffalo Trace in 1992 and Barton Brands in 2009. It also produces Herbsaint liqueur, which became a very popular alternative to absinthe in the Sazerac cocktail.

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