One of the things I did in New Orleans a few months ago was become acquainted with the Sazerac, an "old-fashioned" cocktail. The "official" website and recipe are here: http://www.sazerac.com/cocktail.aspx. Wiki has some good info too.
The traditional drink should be made with (good) rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters and Herbsaint (a pastis, like Pernod). Absinthe can also be used, and there are a few now available in the USA, even some made near us in Seattle.
What is odd, though, is that ordering this drink outside New Orleans is a bit like trying to find Marmite outside the Commonwealth.
About 50% of the places I try ordering one have no clue how to make it. I guess this is not too surprising, since the cocktail is not "in vogue", and many other old-fashioned cocktails have fallen by the wayside. I've also had more than one person say that Absinthe is still banned/illegal in the USA... :)
There are a few places that know what a Sazerac is, and mix a good one. I was very pleased when the friendly barman at Pazzo in Portland sid he knew the recipe. He warned me that he did not have Peychaud's bitters, but they had some that were made in-house by the chef. The resulting drink was pretty close to the ones I had in New Orleans.
I'll update this with any other success stories...