June 13 2008 | New Orleans


Granted, this is not the most pressing issue facing the legislature, but still alive (though barely) is the proposal to name the Sazerac as the state's official cocktail. Early in the session the idea ran into flak from mostly upstate lawmakers who saw evil in giving sanction to an alcoholic drink. (Curiously, wine is mentioned in the bible far more often than milk, the state's official drink.)

Sanctioning does not mean that we have to consume something if we do not want to. Those of us who choose to abstain from Sazeracs, or from mayhaw jelly (the co-official state jelly along with sugar cane jelly), can do so, although neither product should be denied its glory.

Truth is the Sazerac should be the state's official cocktail because it is an expression of the culture.

Like Louisiana, the name is French in origin but American in blend. Consider the ingredients:

  • Rye Whiskey. From the American heartland.

  • Herbsaint. A New Orleans invention.

  • Angostura bitters. Caribbean in influence.

  • Simple syrup. Best when made from Louisiana sugarcane.

  • Orange slice. Nothing finer than when grown in Plaquemines parish.

No drink celebrates the culture of the state in one sip more than the Sazerac. Please legislators approve the designation. It will not cost the state anything but could increase revenue.

Sazerac as the official cocktail! I will drink to that - with maybe a little mayhaw jelly on French bread on the side.

Reprinted with permission of the author.