History is full of well chronicled legacies and stories that are completely factual. This story isn’t… but then is… well kind of.
Antoine was born in 1803-ish in the then French colony of Saint-Domingue. He died in 1883 at the age of 80.
Maybe you’ve heard of him.
Maybe you haven’t.
Chances are, you’re well acquainted with what he did. Or maybe did.
Let’s start Antoine’s story right in the middle – sort of. While the “when” is kind of fuzzy, there where is specific. It was at Antoine’s apothecary at 437 Rue Royale in La Nouvelle-Orléans. See, Antoine was working on making medicine taste well, a lot less like medicine. Digging up an old family recipe, Antoine decided to add in some botanicals to the medicine. Wonders of wonders, it worked.
So the story goes. And so the story continues.
One night, Antoine was hosting some guests when he served them a drink. Instead of using brandy, he reached for whiskey. Then, like he did with his medicine, he added a few dashes of his family recipe to his concoction and served it in an egg cup or “coquetier”. Wonders of wonders, it was a hit. His guests, thoroughly enjoying Antoine’s creation, asked him what it was called. Antoine used his favourite brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge-et-Fils as inspiration (Ironic since he didn’t use the brandy in his new drink.) and called it Le Sazerac. Oh, and since his guests couldn’t pronounce coquetier, the word got anglicized to “cocktail.”
Did Antoine really invent the Sazerac cocktail?
Did Antoine really invent the first cocktail?
Was Antoine’s creation the first time a cocktail was made?
The thing is, sometimes history isn’t always accurate; however, in this case, it is quite delicious and calls for a re-telling. Cheers to Antoine Amédée Peychaud and the Sazerac in your glass… even if that glass your sipping out of is an egg cup. Oh, and Antoine’s family recipe of botanicals, you would most likely know it as Peychaud’s Bitters.
Note: Antoine was originally from Haiti which is currently going through some truly difficult and challenging times. Help can be given in so many ways. One is through The Canadian Red Cross