Good Eats

Tate's Chamomile Sazerac

By Jed PortmanNovember 18, 2012

“Downtown Winston-Salem, ten years ago—even five years ago—was nothing,” says Matt Ceneviva, bartender and part-owner of Tate’s Craft Cocktails. We are sitting outside the bar on a stretch of road in the heart of the old tobacco town that’s a testament to how much has changed. A bustling sushi restaurant, an independent movie theatre, and a popular brewery are all located within a few blocks. And then there’s Tate’s, behind us, where standard-issue liquors share shelf space with cutting-edge syrups and infusions. “We want to be here when this is one of the best food towns in North Carolina."

Tasked with creating a comforting cocktail for the short, cold days of late fall, Ceneviva chose to combine two classics. “A cup of chamomile tea and a Sazerac are both contemplative drinks,” he says. “As it gets colder, you start to turn inward a little bit. I see this cocktail as a companion of sorts, something you can spend time with.”

Chamomile Sazerac
2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye 100
¾ oz. chamomile syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
½ oz Tenneyson Absinthe

Pour absinthe into a double Old-Fashioned glass. Coat the inside of the glass with absinthe and discard the remaining liquor. Combine rye, syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass. Stir. Strain the cocktail into the glass, and garnish with chamomile flowers.

Chamomile Syrup:
4 tablespoons loose chamomile
12 oz. water
8 oz. demerara sugar

Bring water to a boil, then remove from heat, add tea, and allow to steep for four minutes before straining. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.