The Sazerac. A machine for drinking.

Updated: May 4, 2021


Almost every architecture student is forced to read Towards A New Architecture, Le Corbusier's manifesto stating his ideas not just about architecture but about everything. Part lifestyle book part diatribe, and 100% ego, this stale turd of a book is mostly known for one sentence:

"A house is a machine for living in." Curiously one nevers hears other quotes from the book bandied about.such as "A building is like a soap bubble"(p.181) Nor does this quote get much play in architecture schools-" Never undress in your bedroom. It is not a clean thing to do and it makes the room horribly untidy," (p.122) Arguably the most sound piece of advice in the book.


Judging by the photos, Corbusier appeared to be quite fond of beer and wine. But I suspect that if he had enjoyed a cocktail it would have been the Sazerac. Although the French are not known for cocktails, they do enjoy their Pastis. The potent apertitif with a strong licorice flavor is so widely consumed throughout France, it’s practically a national mascot.


The Sazerac begins with a glass rinsed with Pastis to give just the subtlest hint of licorice to the Rye. A splash of Pechaud’s bitters and lemon rind combine to form a refreshing but powerful cocktail with a strong French influence. With a bare minimum of ingredients, it’s easy to make and even easier to drink. Corbusier might have described this cocktail as the perfect machine for drinking.


The Sazerac • Pastis, Pernod or Absinthe to rinse the glass • 1 sugar cube • 2-1/2 oz Rye Whiskey • 2 dashes Pechaud's bitters Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. In another old fashioned glass add the sugar cube and melt with water and bitters. Muddle with the back of a spoon until dissolved. Add ice to fill the glass, then whiskey. Stir gently to chill or let sit for about five minutes. Empty the rocks out of the first glass and rinse with your preferred absinthe derived aperitif. Pour the chilled libation into the glass and rub the rim with the lemon peel, either discarding the peel or floating it on the drink for a bit more citrus.

Did you miss the post about Le Corbusier? click here to get to it.