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id Wizard

Suggestions for absinthe cocktails

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Hello all,

 

As our Celebration of Absinthe event draws near here in Houston (Dec 5th), we are having a small gathering to sample and come up with a short menu of easy to make absinthe cocktails for the bar staff.

 

What are your favorite recipes?

 

id

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I recommend checking the main site, where we have an extensive list of both modern and classic absinthe cocktails.

 

Some notables include the Crysanthemum, Maiden's Blush, Monkey Gland, Obituary, Imperial Topaz, Sazerac, and Death in the Afternoon.

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I'd also recommend the Duchess (a variation on the one listed in the Savoy Cocktail book)

 

Equal parts absinthe, sweet and dry vermouth and water. All shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. If using modern quality vermouths like Vya or Dolin's you end up with a color like skin (perhaps of a Duchess???). You might want to add some food coloring to produce a brighter red color, or try a more commercial (gasp!) sweet vermouth for coloring with a more artisanal sweet vermouth for flavoring.

 

Edit: I added the water to have the absinthe louche. The vermouths themselves don't lower the proof enough and aren't thin enough to have that happen. You might decide that a clear (ie unlouched) cocktail is better.

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Thanks all,

 

I am aware of the extensive cocktail recipes listed on the site. I'm looking for personal suggestions/favorites as it does provide some additional insight.

 

id

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All of the cocktails listed so far are great, with one exception. I'd recommend against the Maiden's Blush.

 

I didn't have a good experience with it (despite using superb absinthe and gin it was overpowering), and I know others will say the same thing. The picture looks beautiful, but consider the proportions:

 

1/3 absinthe

2/3 dry gin

1 teaspoonful grenadine

 

Don't do it!

 

I think an Obituary is a much better way to go, since you still get big absinthe and gin flavor, but the vermouth rounds things out and the absinthe proportion is actually reasonable.

 

Just my $.02

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Personal favorite: The Monkey Gland. Nobody doesn't like this cocktail.

 

Another personal favorite, but NOT for everybody, is the Fourth Degree (Savoy Version. The other version isn't a 4th degree at all) Basically a vermouth-heavy "Perfect" Martini, with a LOT of absinthe dashed in. Not only is this more or less my favorite cocktail, it was also FDR's, according to the 2-part History Channel documentary. They never mentioned it by name, but rather described how he made it, which tells us what it was. History records that it was not well liked by others, but who's going to say that to FDR? Turns out his taste and mine are the same. I love the drink.

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The picture looks beautiful, but consider the proportions:

 

1/3 absinthe

2/3 dry gin

1 teaspoonful grenadine

 

Don't do it!

To be fair, if you use a lower proof absinthe, like Obsello or Kübler (50%), and shake with ice, the final product won't be much stronger than a normal martini.

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Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites.

I've only ever made these with pastis rather than absinthe, but one of my favorites as well. And it's a great one for a gathering or party because it's really eye catching (the purple color from the creme de violette) and people will be asking "what's that?" and "can I have one?"

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The picture looks beautiful, but consider the proportions:

 

1/3 absinthe

2/3 dry gin

1 teaspoonful grenadine

 

Don't do it!

To be fair, if you use a lower proof absinthe, like Obsello or Kübler (50%), and shake with ice, the final product won't be much stronger than a normal martini.

 

I hear ya; I guess that's pretty much how you'd have to do it. With a goodly amount of shaking I can see Obsello working with a well chosen gin (I haven't tried B. Alex's new gin yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if Port of Barcelona was a good match!).

 

I tried it with 2 different absinthes- Pacifique and Leo Bros.- and I'm a firm believer that anything much over 50% is too much. I ended up having to add some water to both so they'd be drinkable.

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I am aware of the extensive cocktail recipes listed on the site. I'm looking for personal suggestions/favorites as it does provide some additional insight.

L'Amour en Fuite

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I ended up having to add some water to both so they'd be drinkable.

 

Nothing wrong with that. Just because it's not mentioned in the recipe doesn't mean that it shouldn't be used. The difference between a 68% absinthe and a 50% absinthe is water. The reduction in proof needs nearly half as much in water as spirit (0.42:1).

 

btw, the Dutchess is one of my favorite cocktails as well as the frappe.

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Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites.

I've only ever made these with pastis rather than absinthe, but one of my favorites as well. And it's a great one for a gathering or party because it's really eye catching (the purple color from the creme de violette) and people will be asking "what's that?" and "can I have one?"

 

 

I checked cocktaildb's entry on it before I made that post, and it has pastis listed instead of absinthe. Usually I swap it out with Kübler. Maybe it's not really an Arsenic and Old Lace anymore...

 

I thought about making some for a group of friends a few weeks ago, but didn't feel like driving around with four open bottles of alcohol. :twitchsmile: :twitchsmile: :twitchsmile:

 

 

Any one ever tried a Pick-me-up?

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Any one ever tried a Pick-me-up?

 

Nope, but looks interesting!

 

Indeed it does. Don't know about the name though--seems like false advertising to me, given the ingredients! :twitchsmile:

 

For me, the Sazerac is and will always be the king of absinthe cocktails. Like everyone else, I also love the Monkey Gland. The Corpse Reviver #2 is another personal favorite. Ditto for the Obituary, the Mephisto, and the Cocktail a la Louisiane.

 

I'd recommend trying Larsy's frappe too. Lots of good stuff to choose from!

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Arsenic & Old Lace is a favorite of mine as well. And it was the Monkey Gland that I played around with to come up with the Garden Party:

2 oz gin (Voyager works best, though I've made it with Plymouth, Tanqueray)

1/2 oz St Germain

1/2 teaspoon absinthe (Kübler works well)

2 dashes Regan's orange bitters

Stir thoroughly with ice and strain into chilled glass.

:cheers:

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Lots of good ones mentioned lately. I agree, Sazerac is tops. Funny thing, I've tried making Monkey Glands a couple of times and I must be doing something wrong, because I didn't care for them. Some day I'll get it figured out. The Larspeart Frappe is fun -- easy, quick, delicious, and quite a surprise the first time you see one come out of the shaker. And can't believe I forgot Bluewolf Pete's Garden Party, I've killed most of a bottle of Hendrick's gin on GPs.

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It occurred to me that there are a number of great tiki cocktails that can be made with absinthe as well. Most of them date from the 1930s-1960s, so the recipes call for Pernod or Herbsaint, but you can easily substitute the real thing without overpowering the drink because the amounts called for are typically very small--no more than a teaspoon in most cases.

 

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry has published several great books on tiki cocktails; here are two great recipes from his newest, Sippin' Safari, that have been published online:

 

Zombie Punch

 

This is the original zombie recipe developed by Don the Beachcomber in 1934. You need to make your own cinammon syrup and find a bottle of Lemon Hart 151 rum (no Bacardi 151!) but the results are well worth it. Powerful stuff.

 

Jet Pilot

 

Same note as above with regards to the 151 rum and the cinnamon syrup. I use Cruzan gold for the PR rum and Coruba for the Dark Jamaican. Use white grapefruit juice. The 6 drops of absinthe works out to be about 1/8 teaspoon.

 

Leopold Bros. works very well in these drinks because of its rummy, butterscotchy flavor, but it's fun to experiment!

 

As an incentive to get folks to buy Sippin' Safari (a great tiki primer!), let me go on record as saying that my favorite tiki drink in the book making use of absinthe is the Dr. Wong. Great name, great drink.

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I made an Atty cocktail last night, but substituted Creme Yvette for the Creme de Violette. While the latter is very good, the former is off the charts.

 

For those of you that don't know, Creme Yvette is similar to Creme de Violette, but it has gone a bit further and added just a touch of vanilla to the bill, rounding out the flavor and giving it a bit more depth of flavor. In the Atty, it's remarkable the difference it makes.

 

Atty (similar to an AaOL)

 

1.5 oz dry gin (I used Voyager)

.5 oz dry vermouth (I used Noilly Pratt old version)

barspoon of absinthe (I used Leopold)

barspoon of Creme Yvette

 

Stir and strain into cocktail glass.

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Great idea to add those tiki recipes, and to recommend Sippin' Safari!

 

Glancing through the Jet Pilot recipe, though, and then looking it back up in the book, I was surprised to see the recipe call for Fee Brothers Falernum. Having read discussions about falernum on other fora, like eGullet and Ministry of Rum, I've become a huge fan of the original, John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum. This is a rum-based concoction (Fee's is a non-alcoholic syrup) and is actually not horrible to sip all by itself. It's easier to find than the Fee's (at least in my area) and about five times deeper and more complex.

 

AIO, if you've been loving the recipes in Sippin' Safari, try them again with the Velvet Falernum.

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For those of you that don't know, Creme Yvette is similar to Creme de Violette, but it has gone a bit further and added just a touch of vanilla to the bill, rounding out the flavor and giving it a bit more depth of flavor.

 

Just curious, Brian: how does Creme de Yvette compare to Parfait Amour? The latter is also similar to Creme de Violette, except it has a marshmallowy, grape jelly bean note to its flavor (Ted Haigh's apt description).

 

AIO, if you've been loving the recipes in Sippin' Safari, try them again with the Velvet Falernum.

 

I've had Velvet Falernum in a few of these cocktails before, thanks to a friend; it is indeed an improvement over the Fee Bros. stuff, which is very syrupy-sweet in comparison. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to come by in my neck of the woods as Fee's (thanks PLCB!) and I've been too lazy to order a bottle. You've inspired me to put it at the top of my wish list, though! :cheers:

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Just curious, Brian: how does Creme de Yvette compare to Parfait Amour? The latter is also similar to Creme de Violette, except it has a marshmallowy, grape jelly bean note to its flavor (Ted Haigh's apt description).

Night and day difference. Parfait amour reminds me of something along the lines of a DeKuyper liqueur, whereas the Creme Yvette is more like a Leopold's liqueur.

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Interesting. Your comparison would suggest that the difference between the two is largely a matter of quality and craftsmanship (maybe subtlety too). Surely there's something that distinguishes them in terms of flavor as well?

 

Tried a Fourth Degree last night, WBT. Tasty! Even with the cheap M&R vermouth I had on hand.

 

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the infamous Earthquake or Tremblement de terre yet. It's certainly memorable. Well, only if you have one or two; after that, you don't remember anything. Kind of like the DITA.

 

Here's a link to the Internet Cocktail Database. They list around 350 cocktails made with absinthe (though many of them are actually made with pastis--the measurements for some of these would have to be adjusted if you used the real thing). Reminded me of a few good ones I had forgotten about: the Depth Charge, the Morning Glory Fizz, the Third Rail, the Turf Cocktail...

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