While not nearly as readily available as Angostura Bitters, Peychaud is perhaps the second most common type of bitters in a well stocked bar. But unless you are in the New Orleans area, this isn't saying very much.
This brand of bitters originated from a family recipe brought to America by Antoine Amedee Peychaud when he fled Haitian in 1795 and settled in New Orleans. Antonie was an apothecary by trade, and around 1830 he produced the first known version of his secret bitters. He would often mix up a special brandy toddy according to his own recipe which used his private brand of bitters. This drink later evolved into the Sazerac, a cocktail which many claim was the original cocktail, and some accounts even indicate that the term cocktail is derived from the egg-cup, or coquetier, in which early New Orleans brandy cocktails were served.
Numerous sources claim that the Sazerac mixed drink was America's first cocktail and that New Orleans thus gave birth to an American tradition. The name, according to those accounts, derived from the egg-cup, or coquetier, in which early New Orleans brandy cocktails were served.
If you have a hard time finding Peychaud's Bitters in your area, you can contact:
Sazerac Company, Inc.
And they can either fax, or mail you an order form.