Although earliest version of this New Orleanian cocktail featured brandy, this recipe, adapted from William T. Boothby's The World's Drinks and How to Mix Them (1908), uses rye, which has been the standard ever since.
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters*
2 ounces rye
Splash absinthe or Pernod
Twist of lemon
Pack the first of two old fashioned glasses with ice and a little water to chill. In the other, muddle the sugar cube and bitters. Add rye and stir. Empty ice water from first glass. Add absinthe or Pernod to chilled glass and swirl thoroughly to coat before discarding excess. Pour rye, sugar and bitters mixture into the chilled and coated glass. Rub the rim with a twist of lemon, and rest on side of the glass as garnish.
* Look for Peychaud’s Bitters at specialty stores, or order online from byobto.com