The company was founded after the purchase of a bar known as the Sazerac Coffee House in 1869 by Thomas H. Handy. After this purchase, Handy's company began to acquire and market brands of liquor. According to the company, the Sazerac Coffee House itself was named after a cocktail called the Sazerac that was created in the mid-1800s by the Creole immigrant Antoine Amédée Peychaud, who operated a pharmacy on the French Quarter's Royal Street in 1838. The company publishes a Sazerac recipe and produces a Peychaud's Bitters named after Peychaud, which is an ingredient in the traditional Sazerac cocktail. In 2009, the company's principal office was moved to Louisville, Kentucky. However, the Sazerac Company still maintains an active presence in the New Orleans, and also has operations in Carson and Loomis, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Bardstown, Frankfort, and Owensboro, Kentucky; Montreal, Canada; Lewiston, Maine; and Londonderry, New Hampshire; Newport, Tennessee; and Sergonzac, France.
As of January 2017 the company sells 33 different brands of alcoholic beverages. These include various types of whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cognac, cocktails, cordials, liqueurs, "shooters", and wine.
In 1989, Sazerac acquired several brands from Seagram: Benchmark, a bourbon, eventually changing its name from "Benchmark" to McAfee's Benchmark; James Foxe Canadian Whisky; Nikolai (vodka); Carstairs Blended Whiskey; Crown Russe, a vodka and gin brand; Dr. McGillicuddy's, a liqueur brand, that included its Fireball Whisky, which was rebranded as Fireball Cinnamon Whisky in 2007; Eagle Rare, a Kentucky straight bourbon whisky.
In 1992, Sazerac acquired the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, at which time the company's primary focus became the production of bourbon whiskey, a product that is primarily distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky, later changing its name to The Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999.
In 1994, Sazerac acquired Monsieur Henri, a wine and specialty spirits company. In 2007, it was announced that they were changing the name Monsieur Henri to Gemini Spirits and Wine, its headquartered in Loomis, California. In 2014, Sazerac announced the creation the Bond & Royal Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, to take over the specialty and craft segment of its brands from the Gemini Spirits and Wine portfolio including: Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, a "cousin" to the Tequila family of spirits," Campo de Encanto Pisco, a Peruvian brandy, Banks Rum, Siete Leguas Tequila, Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch, Dimmi Liquore di Milano, an Italian liqueur, and the Casa San Matias Tequilas.