Absinthe. Back when it was illegal, it was pretty much the coolest drink going. But now it’s just one more offering at the bar, and most people agree- prepared in the traditional manner, it looks Really Cool. Unfortunately, it also tastes a bit like Pine Sol. Back before the ban, however, absinthe was more than just a sipping liquor- it was also an ingredient in mixed drinks, including the Sazerac, which by some counts holds the title of the Oldest Know Cocktail. Here’s a few suggestions from Haute Macabre for drinking and serving what may well be the most Gawth of all liquors, sans slotted silver spoon and sugar cube.
Sazerac: The grandfather of all cocktails is making a comeback. The original Sazerac calls for just a rinse of Absinthe in the glass:
Fill old-fashioned glass with 1 cup ice and set aside. In second old-fashioned glass, stir together sugar, bitters, and ½ teaspoon water until sugar is completely dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add rye whiskey and remaining ½ cup ice, and stir well, at least 15 seconds. From first glass, discard ice, then add absinthe. Holding glass horizontally, roll it between your thumbs and forefingers so that absinthe completely coats the interior, then discard excess. Strain rye whiskey mixture into chilled, absinthe-coated glass. Squeeze lemon peel over drink, making sure oils fall into glass, then drop peel into drink, and serve.
Death in the Afternoon– A cocktail with a fabulous name- not only named after the Hemingway novel, but by Ernest himself in 1935.
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) absinthe
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup (4 to 6 ounces) cold Champagne or sparkling wine
Pour absinthe into Champagne flute. Add Champagne until a milky cloud appears, then serve.
Epicurious offers a twist on Hemmingway’s original- float the absinthe on top of the champage for visual appeal. They also suggest serving with Oysters Rockefeller, which sounds like a great idea for an intimate afternoon.
Green Bastard– Sure, absinthe is an old and respected drink. But sometimes, you have to keep up with the times.
- 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
- 3/4 to 1 cup Red Bull
Combine in large glass, and expect to see the sun come up.
Absinthe Collection, by Art of Adornment