Some of these "quests" have literally taken years, borrowing cookbooks from the library, or buying them when the library didn't have them, poring over the "food" section of the local rag each Wednesday, scouring the 'Net like some hopeless old
I guess it really started when we moved to a town where no one — not one single damn restaurant in the whole goddam town — seemed capable of making "real" apple pancakes. You know, the kind that puff up in the oven, the kind that leave the upstairs and downstairs swimming in the scent of cinnamon and apples and brown sugar the whole rest of the day. The kind that, depending on your mood and what the scale says the next morning, either leaves you feeling satisfied for days, or committed more than ever to your diet. (You don't know? I'm sorry...)
My wife makes the best damn margarita I ever drank, and I make the best damn hollandaise sauce and "tuna-chip casserole." Crêpes, omelettes, onion soufflés, crême brulée, Harvey Wallbanger cake, chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars, English toffee, even meat loaf — you get the picture. (Yes, my wife makes the world's best meat loaf!) But I digress...
I really like absinthe. And whiskey. And I love rock 'n' rye, which is basically rye, sugar, and some citrus flavors. Seemed like a Sazerac would be right up my alley. But it turned into another of these quests. (Yes, I even threw a few drinks down the drain!)
The first Sazerac I tried was the recipe at Liqueurs de France. Of course, bolstered by several posts I read here at WWS, I used rye instead of cognac. Couldn't find Sazerac Rye in this hick town (that also doesn't know what an apple pancake is!), so I went with Old Overholt. I was actually able to find Peychaud's, though, right here at one of the specialty markets - a long drive, but cheaper than hiring a flying monkey. I found the LdF recipe way too absinthe-y. Then I tried a recipe in a long o-o-p bartending guide my wife received as a wedding gift for her first marriage. Yuck — way too... I don't know... too yucky. (The author even admitted that it didn't seem to please absinthe drinkers or whiskey drinkers!)
Anyway... Here's my recipe, bit of a work in progress. Some of you might find it too sweet, but I'm pretty pleased:
For each person, fill a small old-fashioned glass (the "serving glass") with finely crushed ice (or ice and cold water) and set aside to chill the glass.
Fill a mixing glass or shaker with ice. For each drink, measure:
2 oz. rye whiskey
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 tsp. sugar syrup
Stir until you are sure the sugar syrup has been thoroughly dissolved. Let this mix sit to chill on the ice while you empty the ice from the serving glasses. To each of the serving glasses, add:
1 tsp. absinthe
...and swirl around, coating the sides. Do not discard the absinthe! Just leave it in the serving glass.
Strain the rye/bitters/sugar mix into the serving glass, stir gently to incorporate the absinthe. Twist a strip of lemon peel over the glass and drop into the drink as a garnish.
I apologize for the length of this post. I used to get paid by the word, and I probably tried a few too many recipe variations tonight! Anyway, your comments are always welcome. Salût!