Cocktails: Bar Sazerac on James Street North.
01 Mar 2017
Wedged between Saltlick Smokehouse and Knead Pizza in Hamilton is Bar Sazerac, the New Orleans Style Cocktail and Oyster Bar. Serving up NOLA style drinks and finger foods, Bar Sazerac fills the “before dinner” and “after dinner” cocktail and appetizer stop.
With a warm feeling, and seats mainly along the bar, the conversation with the friendly bartenders adds to the unique drink menu.
Nick Incretolli and Kyle Ferreira are two of the best bartenders I have ever met. Nick, an award-winning mixologist, and one of the best bartenders around, runs the bar program. Kyle co-owns this establishment with well known Hamilton restaurant owner Shane McCartney, owner of the restaurants that bookend Bar Sazerac (Saltlick Smokehouse and Knead Pizza), and part owner of Big Tobacco Kitchen & Whiskey on historic George Street in Hess Village.
What is a Sazerac?
A Sazerac is a New Orleans cocktail, named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac brandy used as its main ingredient.
The drink is traditionally a combination of Cognac or rye (sometimes substituted by bourbon), absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, and sugar.
Bar Sazerac has 5 different types of sazeracs on their menu, each with a unique twist:
Classic: Camus VS Cognac, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Dillon’s Absinthe.
Modern: Canadian Club 100% Rye Grain Whisky, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Dillon’s Absinthe.
Big Easy on the Rocks: Canadian Club 100% Rye Grain Whisky, gimme syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, Dillon’s Absinthe.
Islay: Camus VS Cognac, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Yellow Chartreuse.
Smoked Hibiscus: Camus VS Cognac, hibiscus flower syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters, vanilla extract, Campari, sweetgrass & vanilla smoke.
Watching Nick prepare the Smoked Hibiscus is pretty cool!
There is a great selection of cocktails on the drink menu, many of which include in-house made mixers and bitters. For this reason, the bar menu comes with a disclaimer: ”As some of our ingredients are labour or time intensive in preparation, cocktails are subject to availability.”
Nick and Kyle like their drinks looking as awesome as possible, so they use clear ice, that they cut right at the bar. After freezing water in a cooler, the block is removed, and cut in half to remove the bottom portion. That portion is a bit hazy, and is used in the drink mixing process, but not used in the finished drinks.
The rough edges are all shaved down, and then cut into smaller blocks. These blocks fit well into rock glasses for mixed cocktails. When they are used, you can barely tell there is ice in the glass. It adds such a caring touch to each cocktail that Nick or Kyle prepare for their clientele.
Oysters, blackened tuna tartare, southern-inspired low country salmon sashimi, smoked salmon rillettes, various cheeses (with nut brittle, blackberries and okra on the side), charcuterie, toasted sourdough bread, crème brulee, and other finger foods will all be on the menu.
The food is quick, simple, and fresh.
Bar Sazerac is located at 278 James Street North in Hamilton. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in and have a drink. The “Love In Milan” is one of my faves on the menu.
Get Social with Bar Sazerac