Jump to content
beau_cauchemar

Death in the Afternoon: Revisited

Recommended Posts

Like Alyssa, I love champagne and absinthe but the thought of them together makes me, well...I think I would rather drink gin. And for those who know me, that is saying a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first attempt at a DITA was with Lucid and Cook's (I think it was Dry). I thought it was yucky. The revival of this thread gave me a hankerin' to experiment with supplies on hand. Trying some Korbel Extra Dry with Kübler now. It's okay, but I've ended up adding a bit more Korbel.

 

Someone said recently (totally sorry, forgot who it was) that they were diggin' on some Obsello and some Korbel Brut. Might have to try that some day, but for now, I'm in the "Like 'em both, but better by themselves" mindset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cowbwoy, what do you think of the Risque? I've heard it is on the sweeter side (perfect for a DITA), but I'm wondering how it rates in general.

 

I guess I missed this earlier this year.

 

 

I actually drank most of it before the DITA, quite tasty certainly on the sweet side, good after dinner toast kind of bubbly. I really bought it for the 750 ml flip top bottle, perfect for homebrew saisons and the like. I have another bottle that I put down last spring for maybe New Years?

 

And techy, bold spicy absinthes like Martau work best in cocktails, a little goes a long way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone said recently (totally sorry, forgot who it was) that they were diggin' on some Obsello and some Korbel Brut.

 

That was me, GB. I was doing a little experimenting with DITAs on Thanksgiving. The Korbel Brut and Obsello was good, and the Korbel with Duplais Balance was even better! The flavors complemented one another nicely. Despite what others have said about absinthe pairing better with sweet champagnes, I found that the light, dry sweetness of the Brut went well both with citrus, vanilla, and mint notes of the Obsello and the floral, honey notes of the DB. (Indeed, as I said in my earlier post, the DITA has now become my favorite way to drink Obsello!) Also, the lower ABV (and the fact that I only had one bottle of champagne at my disposal) may have helped me avoid the morning-after (night-of?) unpleasantness others have associated with this cocktail. In both cases, I used a 1:3 absinthe to champagne ratio.

 

After having read this thread (thanks again for the link, OMG!), I have a few more pairings that I'd like to try. I haven't tried a blanche like Clandestine yet and wonder whether the grain vs. grape neutral base will make any difference in how well it goes with the bubbly.

 

Interestingly enough, I made my first DITA using Lucid and another inexpensive champagne (can't remember which now--may have been the Korbel, which my wife likes and often buys) and it was not good. I could barely finish it. So I'm not sure why I was suddenly inspired to give it another go on Thursday, but I'm glad that I did! If anyone else tries the pairings above (especially someone who hasn't cared for DITAs in the past), I'd be interested to hear what they think! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, the lower ABV (and the fact that I only had one bottle of champagne at my disposal) may have helped me avoid the morning-after (night-of?) unpleasantness others have associated with this cocktail.

 

... made my first DITA using Lucid and another inexpensive champagne... and it was not good. I could barely finish it. I'd be interested to hear what they think! :cheers:

 

Well then, being that I've never been known to keep my opinions to myself... here it is!

 

Champagne (the real stuff)

Champagne was a very sweet wine really through the end of the 1800's. The first true "brut" Champagne did not make it's debut until about 1880, but the style was only really popular in England, somewhat in the US, and it did not catch on worldwide until after WW1. So it is likely that in the early days of the DITA, the sparkling wine used was probably somewhat sweet.

 

As far as mixing Champagne with another ingredient, it needs to be approached as a pair, not unlike a successful food/wine pairing. My personal opinion on pairing Champagne is that it pairs very readily with a great range of foods. In fact, there are only two wines, I am aware of that I think have the versatility, and range of styles necessary to pair through a multi-course meal, and one is Champagne (Riesling being the other). The caveat here, however is that when it comes to particularly assertive and spicy flavors, the combination of carbonation and acidity in Champagne works to amplify those flavors, desirable and undesirable. I have, more than once, read opinions that Champagne pairs well with spicy Asian foods, but in reality, I have never found it to be palatable with very spicy food.

 

So that being said, I think the DITA can not only be enjoyable, but can serve as a training tool to teach the taster to really take a detailed look at the absinthe one proposes to pair, especially if the sparkling wine is dry. I think any absinthe with an especially bitter un-sugared profile should be avoided with brut sparklers (a lesson I learned my first time out with a DITA, when I used an absinthe with a notoriously bitter flavor profile). Your reaction to the Lucid experiment does not surprise me. If you want to use a particularly bitter absinthe, I would do what many have suggested here, and use some off-dry or sweet sparkler.

 

To sum this up, I think absinthe selection is key, if one uses a brut sparkler. I'm looking at a list of 14 absinthes I currently have open, and I see 4, maybe 5, that I think would make a really enjoyable DITA, paired with a brut.

 

As to the "f### you up" factor, I think you need to be careful with these! Do the math... if you're using 1 oz of average absinthe, and 4 oz of wine, the resultant drink is around 20% - 22% abv, add in the carbonation and...

 

Concerning La Clandestine, you're reading my mind. I think this would make a great DITA, and be pretty to look at, as well. My two faves so far were Kübler and Vieux Pontarlier, both done with a quality prosecco. The VP was sublime!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to this idea of drinking absinthe any other way than louched with spring water. Is it any good? Does the drink still louche? What do people mean by "max effect"? Uh-oh, I said "effect"... sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm new to this idea of drinking absinthe any other way than louched with spring water. Is it any good? Does the drink still louche?

 

Champagne does cause absinthe to louche, and quite nicely--at about the same rate as water does. The Obsello DITA I had louched rapidly and was fully opaque at about 2:1, which is the norm for me when I add water to this absinthe. The DB took a little longer, as is to be expected given the slightly higher ABV. Once louched, the cocktail itself is quite lovely to look at, as well, with the bubbles rising up through the clouded glass. And as I've been saying, I found both the DITAs I tried to be quite good. Clearly they're not to everyone's taste here. I'm glad I tried it...

 

But there's no substitute for the traditional method of preparation, of course. ;)

 

As to your question about the effect of the cocktail, I think FPB says it best.

 

As to the "f### you up" factor, I think you need to be careful with these! Do the math... if you're using 1 oz of average absinthe, and 4 oz of wine, the resultant drink is around 20% - 22% abv, add in the carbonation and...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The drink kicks my candy ass but it's not bad if you find the right combination. As for me, I prefer absinthe and water. It's more predictable. :wave2:

 

Absolutely!

When you introduce the variables of acidity, sugar, carbonation, and flavor profile, you will always have more complications than just adding 2 H's and an O.

 

But remember...

 

Champagne works to amplify those flavors, desirable and undesirable.

 

And effects... there, i said it! Effect! Effect! Effect!

 

All I can say is, to celebrate while posting my intro here, I did the VP and prosecco combo I referred to a couple of posts back. Afterword, I went down to the kitchen to whip up my fave... a mushroom, onion, brussels sprout, and truffle cheese omelette, and finished it in record time... by a lot!

 

The alcohol of a DITA kicks my candy-ass as well, the fringe benefits, depending on the absinthe... priceless!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say it was a bad thing. It just has that EFFECT on me. I'm of an age that hangovers and I don't work well together. I prefer to set with friends and sip versus pass out under the kitchen table.

 

Yes it's happened. I really did have a life once upon a time. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all have inspired me. I have a bottle of sparkling wine (I'll grant those Frenchies the term "Champagne") from Chateau Ste. Michelle that I was gonna open tonight with the wife anyway, so I'll taste, decide where it falls on the sweet/brut scale, and make an Absinthe pairing with that in mind.

 

I haven't had a DITA yet, but, to quote Styx, "Tonight's the night/We'll make hisss-tor-eeee!"

 

God bless you, every one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a mighty fine choice is the CSM. One of the best $10 - $12 sparklers around. This will support the absinthe just fine, and there's nothing wrong with it, and trust me, there's plenty wrong with most sparklers at or below this price!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Y'all have inspired me.

I remain uninspired. DITAs make you fall into juniper bushes and you never find your sunglasses ever again.

 

 

Ask Maggie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have got to get those dining chairs installed in the forest.

 

Those sunglasses are forever gone.

Once I figured out that a splash of absinthe in the sparkling wine does the trick things were much better.

I don't fall down as much. Most of the time.

Moderation can be a good thing.

 

 

From time to time. :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Y'all have inspired me.

 

So, khiddy: what about it? Did you ever put that bottle Chateau Ste. Michelle to good use? Whither did your inspiration lead you?

 

New Year's Eve is coming up pretty soon and I need some more DITA ideas to try out! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe I've weighed in on this before. They'll knock you on your ass, if that's what you're looking to do. That's about it. Personally, I think it ruins both ingredients.

 

Over the years, I've found the following to be true:

 

champagne = hangover

absinthe = minimal hangover (if any, depending on on the quality of the base)

absinthe + champagne = uber hangover

 

Now this might be due to the fact that I've only had a DITA a handful of times and most of the times I've attempted this, I've used shitty absinthe and cheap champagne. I was then stupid enough to try this with Jade N.O. and a much higher-end champagne a few years back and it still tasted rather shite.

 

DITA's look pretty, to be sure. However, it tastes like a chemistry set and obliterates one more quickly than a swift kick to the head. You might as well mainline ethyl alcohol if you have more than three of these.

 

The wife downed once one (not a big absinthe drinker to begin with) and then decided to take a hot shower before her body began to absorb this vile concoction. I've never seen consonants dissolve so quickly...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
absinthe + champagne = uber hangover

 

... I've only had a DITA a handful of times and ... I've used shitty absinthe and cheap champagne. ... Jade N.O. and a much higher-end champagne ...still tasted rather shite.

 

Shitty absinthe + cheap Champagne = shitty experience + uber hangover

 

Jade N.O. + Brut Champagne = Very challenging drink

 

You might as well mainline ethyl alcohol if you have more than three of these.

 

Yep! I never have had more than one. I'll bet if I had two, I'd jump into my linen closet and try to hijack it to Cuba!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ass first, thank you very much!

 

Again with the moderation thing. I don't have a hangover when I drink a well made DITA responsibly.

Yes, once when I was irresponsible I did fall in a juniper bush. Ah, such fond memories.

 

I agree with the focus on pairing. It's all about the cooperation of the flavors. :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually did get around to trying the DITA with my bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle just last night. I made the mistake of thinking that if one was good, two would be better. And then a third, which meant that I pretty much didn't have a good evening after that. ;) Each one was made with a 35mL pour of Absinthe, topped with around 4oz of CSM.

 

The first one I had was made with Lucid. It was slightly sweet, and the anise was very noticable. The louche was that dirty milky look that you get with Lucid, so it wasn't the best visual presentation, but the flavor was actually very nice. My wife also liked the taste, though she found the anise overpowering.

 

The second cocktail was with Trillium, which was more mild than the CSM/Lucid combo. As you might expect, there just wasn't much interesting going on, since the flavors in Trillium are so muted. The aroma was also particularly mild, unlike the very pronounced Lucid DITA.

 

The final taste was Obsello. I didn't like this one. Perhaps it was the fact that I was pretty well toasted by then, but I thought it was too spicy. Definitely a poor pairing.

 

So, I think the experiment went well, because I found at least one pairing that worked well enough to offer to friends. I also now totally understand what everyone was saying about getting rocked by these seemingly lightweight beverages. One is nice. Two is insanity. Three is a recipe for disaster. I actually don't think I sobered up until around 11am today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They look so innocent in the glass.

 

Two was my max and that was a couple years ago. I see no reason to venture to that place again. Like going shopping the day after Thanksgiving. This guy ain't doin' it.

 

Ok maybe some day I will and that day I'll have two more DITA's. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was out last Friday, and saw one being made. The bartender mentioned the name, I apparently got this horrified look on my face and said I never drink those out, because eventually you have to get home. I love them, but they're sooo deadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Khiddy: thanks for the report!

 

It's interesting... my experiences with Lucid and Obsello were the opposite of yours. The DITA I made with Lucid was pretty vile, while I really enjoyed the Obsello DITA (and Obsello is not one of my favorite absinthes).

 

Just goes to show that there's no accounting for taste. Or that a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle makes all the difference in the world! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×