How To Make 5 Amazing, Easy, And Perfect Absinthe Cocktails
Absinthe can come in many different cocktails and can also be enjoyed by itself. It is normally drunk however in small quantities with icy water and enjoyed as an additive to most cocktails, normally being rinsed around a drink glass so that the drinker can get the essence and scent of the delicious absinthe. Absinthe is one of those abstract spirits we dare never venture into trying. Notice how it is described as a spirit and not a liqueur as it does not include any sugar content. Its anise flavor is due to the herbal mix of anise, sweet fennel, hyssop, and wormwood (being the most important part of real absinthe). But why should we try this more often and have cocktails which include it? It was seen once as a devil’s drink and to be drunk only by drug addicts and people in search of a deeper view on life. However, it also has digestive and stimulating properties which is to be considered the reason it has gained some certain reputations. So why not try some absinthe with your cocktails and spice up your taste and dive head first into the world that this spirit has to offer.
What is absinthe? We have all heard of it and have probably seen it. That bizarre looking green alcoholic beverage which you have never dared to try! This anise flavored spirit is originally from Switzerland. Its highly botanical flavors are due to its use of wormwood (also known as Artemisia Absinthium, wormwood or grand wormwood), green anise, sweet fennel, and other botanicals.
The history behind the spirit (not liqueur) begins in historical literature where it is referred to as the “green fairy” or “la feé verte” due to its green tinge and apparent psychoactive properties. The drink itself was consumed mainly by Parisian artists and writers of the late 20th century (including Ernest Hemingway, Byron, James Joyce and Pablo Picasso who all lived in Paris during that time).
However, absinthe was highly opposed by prohibitionists and social conservatives because of its link to bohemian culture. It was portrayed as dangerously addictive and hallucinogenic. However, this has mainly been exaggerated overtime and is mainly due to its high alcohol content. The French went on a propaganda campaign against absinthe not long after their grape vineyards started to recover from the blight that destroyed many of their vineyards. Absinthe was much cheaper and definitely packed a more powerful punch than wine, opium was pretty popular too those days in France, hence the hallucinations when combined with spirits that were 140 proof. It was difficult to convince the French people to drink wine instead of absinthe so trashing it as poison was what they did. It was banned in the United States by 1915 and in many other European countries. It is not more dangerous than any other spirit and as long as it is consumed properly, no one should be receiving a visit from a coroner.
The revival of Absinthe began in the 1990s and by the early 2000s, many different brands were being produced, which leads us onto the next part of this article; what kind of cocktails can you make with this green spirit? For this list, we will concentrate on five popular absinthe-based cocktails. And as usual, we'll remind you to use, real absinthe with thujone. Never settle for thujone-free absinthe imitation that is so heavily advertised in States.
We have the Sazerac, Stars and Stripes, La Tour Eiffel, Death in the Afternoon and finally, the Absinthe Frappé. These are some classic, and not so classic cocktails from an experienced mixologist which you can use to really impress some people the next time you have a gathering of spirit connoisseurs.
- Cognac (2oz.)
- Absinthe (rinse the glass)
- Simple Syrup (1/2oz.)
- Peychaud’s bitters (3 dashes)
Rinse the rocks glass with absinthe and then mix the remaining ingredients in a mixing glass until chilled and strain the drink into the glass with no ice and garnish with a lemon peel.
Stars and Stripes:
- Blueberries (5)
- Blueberry vodka (1oz.)
- Absinthe (1/4oz.)
- Simple syrup (1/4oz.)
- Lemon juice (1/4oz.)
- Raspberry brandy (1 drizzle)
- Ginger beer (top)
Muddle the berries and then add the vodka, syrup and lemon juice and shake with ice, pour into a highball glass, drizzle with brandy and top with ginger beer, garnish with a sugar cube.
La Tour Eiffel:
- Absinthe (1/4oz.)
- XO cognac (2 1/2oz.)
- Cointreau (1/2oz.)
- Suze (1/2oz.)
Rinse the champagne flute with absinthe then mix the remaining ingredients in a mixing glass, pour the drink into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Death in the Afternoon:
- Absinthe (1 1/2oz.)
- Chamliagne (4 1/2oz.)
Pour the absinthe into a coupe glass and top with the champagne.
- Absinthe (1oz.)
- Anisette (1/4oz.)
Add the absinthe and anisette to a cocktail shaker, and shake and strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.
So, after seeing these delicious cocktails, and learning that absinthe should be used more often in your home bar, why not give it a go. Due to the growth of absinthe in the 1990s, there are now many brands of absinthe for you to choose from. Just remember that for the proper absinthe experience, you need to always choose absinthe with wormwood and not some cheap thujone-free imitations.
Why not impress some friends with your risky use of this once forbidden spirit! Maybe even try an absinthe spoon and prepare a drink the old-fashioned way by resting the spoon on the glass, placing a sugar cube on top and pouring water over it into the absinthe. Now that is the proper step to becoming an absinthe connoisseur.