The Sazerac Cheesecake is served exclusively at Washington, DC’s New Orleans-inspired restaurant, Dauphine’s.

Sazerac, also known as the “cocktail of New Orleans,” has been around since the 1850s, and is considered to be one of the oldest cocktails in America. This boozy drink traditionally consists of absinthe, rye whiskey, a little bit of sugar and a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. Wanting to bring the Sazerac to life through culinary expression, Dauphine’s pastry chef, Joy Razo created a lemon-forward cheesecake that’s drizzled with Herbsaint liqueur and rye salted caramel, sprinkled with rye crumbs, and topped with whipped Peychaud’s and a dehydrated orange.

Weaving the spirit of New Orleans with the Mid-Atlantic through her thoughtful baking, Chef Joy brings her own unique twists to the dessert menu at Dauphine’s.

Lemon Cheesecake


  • 32 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 lemons, zested


  1. Using a food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until smooth, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole eggs and egg yolks.
  3. Add egg mixture to food processor while machine is running.
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, then add in lemon zest.
  5. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (NOTE: this step is important, if you miss this step, your cheesecake will not come out easily)
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the center of the cake is set, or when it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
  8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature.
  9. Run a clean knife around the sides of the cake pan and place in the fridge to cool completely.

Peychaud’s Sour Cream


  • 1 cup cream sour cream
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Peychaud’s Bitters


  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Mix together and pour on top of cooled cheesecake to hide any imperfections.
  2. Slice with a clean heated knife (run under hot water to warm it), making sure to wipe the knife clean after each slice.

Caraway Graham Cracker Crumb


  • 1-½ cups crumbled graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground caraway seeds (*optional)


  1. Melt butter in a microwave until liquid.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, ground caraway seeds, and melted butter in a bowl.
  3. Mix together until the butter fully absorbed.
  4. Lay the carraway graham crumb evenly on a parchment-lined sheet tray.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, making sure to stir the crumb after 5 minutes into the bake.

NOTE: *caraway seeds give the crumb a rye bread taste


  1. Slice cheesecake into 8 pieces.
  2. Place each slice on the center of a clean plate.
  3. Garnish with fresh orange segments.
  4. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumb.