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The 7 best sazeracs in Chicago

This New Orleans whiskey cocktail can be found all over Chicago, from Cajun restaurants to rare spirits bars

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The sazerac is an old, old cocktail—some even say it may be the oldest American cocktail. It hails from New Orleans and is packed with cognac and/or rye, absinthe, Peychaud's Bitters and sugar. We found the best ones all over the city, at speakeasies, Cajun spots and great beer bars.

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to cocktails in Chicago

Sazerac at Longman & Eagle

At Longman & Eagle—the Michelin-starred gem of Logan Square—getting a seat at the bar can often be just as hard as scoring a table for two. With an impressive whiskey-focused drink menu (featuring more than 300 kinds), it includes a handful of classic whiskey cocktails amid the selection of its more avant-garde inventions. Longman’s Sazerac is the quintessentially classic version, incorporating both Wild Turkey 101 Rye and Park Cognac. The drink is finished with bitters to balance the licorice notes from the drink’s absinthe rinse. $9. —Rebecca Skoch

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Logan Square

Sazerac at Milk Room

The Milk Room doesn't skimp on anything, including the well-balanced and smooth sazerac. Using vintage spirits, the sazerac at Milk Room has a nice rye bite smoothed over by Armagnac, a French cognac. Redemption 7 year Cask Strength rye and 1975 Delord 40-year-old Bas-Armagnac make up the base with bourbon barrel–aged demerara and Peychaud's Bitters and Vieux Pontarlier absinthe. $34. —Elizabeth Atkinson

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Loop

Cannons & Tanks at Farm Bar

The Blenheim is a Yellow Chartreuse- and brandy-based cocktail made by Joe Gilmore of London's American Bar at The Savoy Hotel for Sir Winston Churchill's 90th birthday. And this heavily Wisconsin farm-to-table restaurant has made a cocktail blending Churchill's birthday cocktail with a sazerac. Made with Few bourbon, Yellow Chartreuse, Lillet Blanc, Carpano Antica, balsam, Appel's Orange Hibiscus Cordial and Letherbee Absinthe, the drink has a strong bourbon back with a bunch of floral notes. For those just thinking about jumping into sazeracs, this one's an easy sipper with a whole lot of history. $12. —EA

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Lake View
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Sazerac at Bar DeVille

The vintage bar at this West Town hipster hideout might not seem like the place to order a classic cocktail, but you’d be remiss if you settled for a High Life. With a selection of hand-picked standards available, the sazerac stands out in its simplicity. Made with rye whiskey, it has notes of sweet fennel that are elevated by the snappy fragrance of citrus oil from the lemon peel garnish. $10. —RS

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River West/West Town

Sazerac at Pearl's Southern Comfort

The sazerac fits in perfectly on this cocktail menu that complements the New Orleans menu. With Rittenhouse Rye, Courvoisier, sugar, bitters and Herbsaint, it's a traditional sazerac all around with a strong rye backbone tempered with the sweet licorice Herbsaint. $10. —EA

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Edgewater

Hardscrabble Sazerac at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

So maybe a cocktail isn't the first thing you think about when you head to Maria's, but you definitely shouldn't overlook it. This menu has a solid list of classics, including the sazerac. Maria's version is made with rye, simple syrup and an absinthe rinse, bringing a nice licorice nose to the spirit-forward cocktail. $10. —EA

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Bridgeport
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Sazerac at Gilt Bar

Gilt Bar's house cocktails are displayed on the top left of the one-page menu, stacked with classics like a Pimm's Cup and Bee's Knees. We're a fan of the sazerac, with rye, demerara and Peychaud's bitters—it's a simple take, but one we'd happily drink again and again. $13. —EA

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River North

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