I first tried the Sazerac at a packed New Orleans bar in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle called Toulouse Petit. The bartender spent a while slowly building the drink, and the result was unexpected. You can achieve 90% of the effect with much less effort. Just go easy on the absinthe.
1 ½ oz rye whiskey
1 tsp sugar
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
¼ oz absinthe or herbsaint
By tradition: Pack an old fashioned glass with ice. In second glass, dissolve the sugar in rye and bitters. Discard the ice, and coat the glass with absinthe; discard the excess. Pour the whiskey mixture into the chilled glass.
Or, dissolve the sugar in the whiskey and bitters, add a couple of ice cubes, a few drops of absinthe, and call it good.