Spiced Sazerac

Kellie Thorn | Atlanta

Working at a Hugh Acheson restaurant inspires Atlanta’s Kellie Thorn to tweak the culinary parts of any cocktail, in order to make it her own. Though it’s thought of more often as a gin botanical, Thorn believes juniper works particularly well with the spicy character of Knob Creek® Rye, especially its baked apple and anise notes. Thorn advocates for the Sazerac as the perfect drink for at-home bartenders to get creative and choose their own spices to add; she suggests cardamom, caraway or star anise. Because of the higher-proof whiskey, she recommends stirring for a while to aid in dilution.


Serving: 1

  • 2 parts Knob Creek® Rye
  • ¼ part juniper-rich gum syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • St. George Absinthe, rinse

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Rinse a frozen rocks glass with absinthe and discard the liquid.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a frozen mixing glass over ice and stir.
  3. Strain into frozen rocks glass.
  4. Express a lemon twist and serve on the side.
Editor's Note

Juniper-Rich Gum Syrup
(Makes 2 cups)
7 ounces demerara sugar
7 ounces organic cane sugar
0.7 ounces gum arabic
14 ounces filtered water
0.25 ounces of juniper berries

Combine sugars and gum arabic in a blender and process, slowly adding filtered water until everything has dissolved. Using a spatula to scrape the sides, transfer to a bag intended for the thermal circulator. Add tempered and lightly crushed juniper berries to the bag and seal. Set the thermal circulator to 145° F. Once the bath reaches temperature, put the bag with the sugar mixture in the bath and cook for 2 hours. Remove the bag from the bath and transfer it to an ice bath. Allow it to cool. Strain and refrigerate.