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Brynjolfr

Returning absinthe to its bottle after mixing a sazerac

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Can you pour the absinthe back into its bottle after you've used it to coat the glass, or is there any risk that this might spoil the bottle in some way? Would it be better to just coat the glass with a larger amount (3cl or so) and save it for when I'm in the mood for a glass of absinthe?

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Unless your glasses are remarkably filthy, returning the absinthe to the bottle shouldn't be a problem. There aren't many nasties that could survive a 68% alcohol bath. I suspect there are a few cocktailians here that have an atomizer with absinthe for that express purpose. As for myself, I don't dump that tad bit of absinthe excess because I prefer a hint more absinthe flavor in my Sazerac. :cheers:

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What if you just poured a few ounces for just that purpose into a 2oz. sample bottle and then you need not worry? Course, unless your aim is true you might need a funnel for returning the absinthe to the bottle.

 

However, I agree. Don't think it will hurt things.

Edited by greytail

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I've wondered this myself... cannot imagine bartenders would waste good absinthe if there were not a need to do so. Perhaps a good solution would be to collect the excess into another bottle altogether and then you can louche it up once you accumulate enough? Kind of like a treat to look forward to.

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I use a glass eyedropper...tilt the bottle of absinthe until I can use the eyedropper to slurp up some absinthe in the neck.

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Some use small spray bottle to mist the inside of the glass, or you can learn to get better at pouring just enough to coat a glass with practice.

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I really am considering keeping absinthe in an empty peychaud's bottle. I have a skilled steady pour but this really is a neat idea!

Edited by Cajun Magic

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Yeah, I know... another zombini thread. Sorry, I've just been obsessed with this drink again lately. And this whole rinse of absinthe thing seems to cause so much angst for a good many people. 

Listen... I don't want to be wasteful either. However, I also want to get to drinking my Saz or getting it in front of the drinker in this lifetime. In my experience, to do a good efficient rinse requires a certain amount of absinthe. Too little, and it takes a long time to completely coat the inside of the glass. You have to rotate slowly and many more times than you will if you use more. However, too much, and you're unnecessarily throwing a lot away. That's why when I tutor people on this drink I always spec about a teaspoon (I don't measure it) of absinthe. If you want to get all technical, each different glass will require a different amount. But a teaspoon will cover a single rocks glass with a final loss of maybe 50% of the teaspoon, and a double rocks glass with a loss of no more than 33%. With practice (and practice at this drink doesn't suck), you'll get to know the glasses you are commonly working with. I'm always aiming for the least I can use and get it done in 3 or 4 rotations. And I gotta' tell you, nothing is sexier than watching a good bartender pour just the right amount of absinthe, coat the glass in 3 or 4 spins, and end up pouring out a minimal amount. That's the craft. And for you frugal types out there, at average retail, a teaspoon of absinthe is about $.50.

On 5/22/2013 at 6:44 AM, Brynjolfr said:

Would it be better to just coat the glass with a larger amount (3cl or so) and save it for when I'm in the mood for a glass of absinthe?

A teaspoon is 1/6 of an ounce. You could rinse real fast with 3cl (1 ounce), but that is serious overkill. If I were using that much, I'd be concerned with recovery of the excess, as well. At typical retails an ounce of absinthe is about $2.40 to $3.00. If you don't recover the excess you just doubled the cost of your drink, if you're using a fairly ordinary rye.

On 5/22/2013 at 11:24 AM, Gwydion Stone said:

I re-purposed an empty bitters bottle; two dashes does the trick.

Two dashes, in my opinion, would be very difficult to rinse with. Two dashes is about 1/24 of an ounce. If you're talking just dashing it into the drink, I've seen it done and have done it myself, but you get nowhere near the aromatic pizzazz you get with a complete rinse on a glass.

On 5/23/2013 at 9:54 PM, thegreenimp said:

Some use small spray bottle to mist the inside of the glass, or you can learn to get better at pouring just enough to coat a glass with practice.

I never used the atomizer, but have seen it done with varying degrees of success. What I haven't liked is when some bartender is sloppy with it, misses the interior of the glass, and you end up with a lot of absinthe smell in the environment, affecting the perception of all the drinks in that environment. 

 

Class dismissed.

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Dashers come in different sizes.  Some have really tiny apertures, some larger.  Mine gives me around 1/10 tsp per dash. You don't use the two-dashes to rinse, you just add it along with the rest of the ingredients. 

I think you may be over-thinking it.   The rinse idea is basically to keep one from using too much of the ingredient; it all gets blended in when you strain in the rest anyway.  If you're serving guests, it may be more showy, but entirely superfluous.  The important thing is using the proper amount, and I've had far too many Sazeracs that have been ruined by the bartender insisting on adding "enough absinthe to taste"; most of them, in fact.

I devised a cocktail called the Mephisto that specifies 1/4 oz each of absinthe and Islay Scotch.  I've yet to have any bartender besides Murray Stenson make it correctly because they insist that "you can't taste the absinthe or Scotch". 

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On 10/11/2018 at 6:46 PM, Gwydion Stone said:

Dashers come in different sizes.  Some have really tiny apertures, some larger.  Mine gives me around 1/10 tsp per dash. You don't use the two-dashes to rinse, you just add it along with the rest of the ingredients. 

That would make your two dashes about 1/30 of an ounce, slightly less than what I estimated. And that's what I figured you were doing... adding the absinthe to the liquid ingredients. You certainly can't rinse with that little absinthe.

On 10/11/2018 at 6:46 PM, Gwydion Stone said:

The rinse idea is basically to keep one from using too much of the ingredient; it all gets blended in when you strain in the rest anyway. 

I don't agree completely. The way I see it is that the rinse does limit the amount used, but moreover it provides increased surface area, north of the wash line of the main body of the drink, to amplify the aromatic accent, without making that ingredient part of the main body of the drink. It does its work more on the nose than the palate.

On 10/11/2018 at 6:46 PM, Gwydion Stone said:

The important thing is using the proper amount, and I've had far too many Sazeracs that have been ruined by the bartender insisting on adding "enough absinthe to taste"; most of them, in fact.

And I couldn't agree more. If you read my manifesto in the thread "Sazerac - perfected!", you'll see I list "leaving too much absinthe in the glass" as the number one pitfall in making this drink. The whole idea of "to taste" is what's wrong with this approach. You shouldn't be primarily tasting it. You should be smelling it.

On 10/11/2018 at 6:46 PM, Gwydion Stone said:

I devised a cocktail called the Mephisto that specifies 1/4 oz each of absinthe and Islay Scotch.  I've yet to have any bartender besides Murray Stenson make it correctly because they insist that "you can't taste the absinthe or Scotch". 

I'm assuming that what you are implying is that most bartenders want to use more than 1/4 ounce each. I wouldn't be in favor of that. 

I've been making the Mephisto for years now. If you don't believe me, search my posts. I love the drink. I remember when you first listed it, you had it at 1 barspoon each of simple syrup, smoky Scotch, and absinthe. That's how I always made it, and I've rocked a lot of peeps with it that way. I remember taking notice when your spec changed to 1/4 ounce each. I have never made it that way, but have a hard time imagining any subtlety at that level. I've always seen that drink as a slightly modified Perfect Martini, and the accents should be exactly that... accents. Of course it's your drink.  Maybe I should take that for a spin.

Is Murray working these days? I know he was having some health problems a while back.

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