Like Negronis? Fan of absinthe? Try mixing them together in this classic drink.
'Absinthe' on Serious Eats
Many new bars these days have a 'low proof' section of the menu, featuring cocktails that aren't spiked with whiskey, gin, rum, or other strong spirits. As trendy as these drinks may be, they're not new. The Crysanthemum, for example, is a concoction dating back before Prohibition. It's made with dry vermouth and herbal, honeyed Benedictine, flavored with a touch of anisey absinthe.
There are so many misconceptions surrounding absinthe, and it's time to set the story straight. (Just here to drink? I've got 5 essential absinthe cocktail recipes for you, too.)
The back garden at Williamsburg's New Orleans-themed cocktail and oyster bar Maison Premiere won't open for a few more weeks (there's some landscaping to finish up), but the cocktails have moved toward warmer weather, with a menu that includes 16 new concoctions from head bartender Maxwell Britten and his team.
On my recent trip to Jura, France, sponsored by the The Comté Cheese Association (thanks cheese guys!), we made a stop for dinner at the Bistrot de Pontarlier in Port Lesney. As it turns out, Pontarlier is home to one of the most important absinthe distilleries in the world. Distillery François Guy still produces its wormwood and Spanish green anise-scented concoction from the original Belle Époque recipe.
I'm not French, I'm not Bohemian, nor am I an old man who enjoys the hot summer sun of Provence on my back as I smoke cigarettes and argue over the finer points of pétanque. But here's something I have in common with many of those characters: I love pastis.
The purpose of the rinse is to impart the taste of a strongly flavored ingredient to a cocktail, without that ingredient overpowering the rest of the drink. The Sazerac is probably the best-known cocktail to feature a rinse, with its traditional wash of absinthe (or pastis, in the decades before absinthe's return to the United States).
Considering the number of gray days in San Francisco, it's important to have good warming drinks to liven up your rainy spring evenings. A little bit of rum and brandy never hurts, either. Which makes the Spanish Coffee at Absinthe a perfect treat for a rainy day, no matter the time of year.
We have a weakness for all things ginger—cookies, tea, pickled ginger shavings with sushi. So, when we began noticing ginger cropping up on more and more cocktail menus around San Francisco (and moving way beyond the Dark and Stormy), we knew we had some serious sipping to do.
At times, it's difficult to take the dining and drinking scene of the French Quarter in New Orleans seriously. But around the corner from the myriad of tourist-friendly chain restaurants, Iris has taken root, and sports an ambitious menu and equally ambitious cocktails.
Five years ago, absinthe wasn't just scarce—it was verboten. Now, three years after the once-banned spirit became legally available in the U.S., two new books covering absinthe and absinthe cocktails have been released: A Taste for Absinthe, by R. Winston Guthrie and James F. Thompson, and Absinthe Cocktails, by Kate Simon. Here's what you need to know before venturing any further with the green fairy.
Herbsaint digs out its 1930s recipe and releases a vintage replica of the longtime New Orleans favorite. It has a more gentle, floral anise flavor mixed with an herbaceous complexity and bottled at 100 proof, it's pretty potent stuff.
This past Sunday at an event in Seattle sponsored by the Washington State Bartender's Guild, distiller Gwydion Stone and I presented a one-hour session on absinthe. Too bad nobody told us that, less than two years after its return to the United States, the once-forbidden spirit is passé.
Around 18 months after Lucid entered the U.S. market--the first legally available absinthe in 95 years--more than a dozen additional brands have hit American liquor stores, with plenty on the way. This summer, the first so-called "Bohemian," or Czech-style absinthe entered the market: Absinthe Mata Hari, manufactured in Austria.
Banished from the U.S. in 1912 as a warm-up exercise by Prohibitionists, absinthe was absent from the U.S. market (legally, at least) until just this past spring. When Viridian Spirits rolled out Lucid, the first (and so far, only) absinthe to meet regulatory approval in almost 100 years, newspapers and magazines immediately began to circulate many of the old, exaggerated claims and contemporary urban myths about the spirit called the "green fairy."