The Whisky Exchange
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Product of: United States
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Peychaud's Aromatic Cocktail Bitters were created by one Antoine Amedee Peychaud. His story starts in 1795 when he arrives in New Orleans as a refugee in 1795 after his father was forced to flee the island of San Domingo, where his family owned a coffee plantation, after the slaves rebelled.
Antoine grew up to become a pharmacist and bought his own Drug and Apothecary Store at what was then No. 123 Royal Street in 1834. Here he created an 'American Aromatic Bitter Cordial' and marketed it as a medicinal tonic. Such potions were fashionable at the time and there were many similar products.
Antoine also served his bitters mixed with brandy and other liquors. (It has been falsely claimed that the word 'cocktail' originated with Antoine, from a measure known as a 'coquetier' he used to prepare drinks. But it is now undisputed that the term appeared in print in an upstate New York newspaper in 1806, when Antoine was still a child.)
Antoine Peychaud advertised his bitters in local newspapers and many New Orleans bars served drinks prepared with them. One such bar was the Sazerac Coffee House at 13 Exchange Alley, owned by John B. Schiller, also the local agent for a French cognac company 'Sazerac-du-Forge et Fils' of Limoges. It was here, in 1858, that a bartender called Leon Lamothe is thought to have created the Sazerac, probably using Peychaud's aromatic bitters, Sazerac cognac and sugar.
A decade or so later Peychaud fell upon hard times and sold his pharmacy store, along with the formula and brand name of his bitters.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 16/02/2020
Clear, scarlet red.
Cherry with liquorice, aniseed, celery and orange zest. Reminiscent of cherryade.
Quinine bitterness, cherry, orange zest and mint.
Bitter cherryade finish.
A hard man's Campari! Undrinkable neat but a fabulous cocktail ingredient.