To me this cocktail says late night -- so you don't have far to go to make it to bed before the whole damn house starts spinning.
It's a sipper.
Though I can easily see Scarlett O'Hara knocking three back in a row on a 'bad man day'.
This version is from Esquire Magazine. Stock up on tea/bartenders sugar cubes if your supply is low. Two types of bitters may seem redundant, but they are very different in flavor, color and degrees of 'pucker'. The drink is thought to have been invented in old New Orleans, circa 1850.
Cognac was sometimes substituted for rye, but a massive cognac shortage at that time changed the recipe.
No wonder women randomly display their twins at Mardi Gras.
1 sugar cube
2 1/2 ounces rye whisky
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Glass Type: old-fashioned glass
In an Old-Fashioned glass (not a mixing glass; it's part of the ritual), muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water. Add several small ice cubes and the rye whiskey,* the Peychaud's bitters, and the Angostura bitters.**
Stir well and strain into a second, chilled, Old-Fashioned glass in which you have rolled around a few drops of absinthe (no substitute really works, but you can try either a mix of Pernod and green Chartreuse, or Absente) until its inside is thoroughly coated, pouring off the excess. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel (some insist that this be squeezed over the drink and discarded; Handy wasn't so picky).
* Use the good stuff, if you can find it: Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye (13 years old), or Sazerac Rye (18 years old).
** Optional. It's not in the original recipe, but it's traditional nonetheless, and it's not bad.