Thomas H. Handy's 1893 succession papers include this inventory of the Sazerac Saloon. Most of the ingredients of the famous cocktail--rye whiskey, absinthe, and Angostura Bitters--appear on these pages. Other pages in the document enumerate additional barrels of unbranded bitters, possibly Peychaud's. It is also interesting to note that although rye already had replaced brandy as the drink's main ingredient, a good supply of Sazerac brandy remained in stock at the eponymous bar room.

[Civil District Court #29721]

For years one of the favorite brands of cognac imported into New Orleans was a brand manufactured by the firm of Sazerac-de-Forge et fils, of Limoges, France. The local agent for this firm was John B. Schiller. In 1859 Schiller opened a liquid dispensary at 18 Exchange Alley, naming it "Sazerac Coffehouse" after the brand of cognac served exclusively at his bar.

Schiller's brandy cocktails became the drink of the day and his business flourished, surviving even the War Between the States. In 1870 Thomas H. Handy, his bookkeeper, succeeded as proprietor and changed the name to "Sazerac House." An alteration in the mixture also took place. Peychaud's bitters was still used to add the right fillip, but American rye whiskey was substituted for the cognac to please the tastes of Americans who preferred "red likker" to any pale-faced brandy.

Thus brandy vanished from the Sazerac cocktail to be replaced by whiskey ... and the dash of absinthe was added. ... The absinthe innovation has been credited to Leon Lamothe who in 1858 was a bartender for Emile Seignouret, Charles Cavorac & Co., a wine importing firm located in the old Seignouret mansion still standing at 520 Royal street. More likely it was about 1870, when Lamothe was employed at Pina's restaurant in Burgundy street that he experimented with absinthe and made the Sazerac what it is today.

[Stanley Clisby Arthur, Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em (1937), pp. 17-18]