and Dan Hoagland, Bartender in West Hartford
Ahhh, the green fairy, la fee verte, the wormwood angel. A bright green liquor with an aroma that will be sure to put hair on your chest, absinthe has always had a bit of mystery surrounding it. So how can you join the ranks of famous absinthe drinkers like Picasso, Van Gough, Oscar Wilde, and Ernest Hemmingway without a time machine? Drink absinthe cocktails.
Absinthe’s main ingredients are fennel, green anise, and wormwood. First, let’s clear the air… absinthe won’t make you hallucinate. Yes, wormwood is a hallucinogen and was historically used as a medical elixir in the Nineteenth Century, but even a full bottle won’t have you seeing green. And it is damn tasty.
When it comes to most things, absinthe cocktails included, we tend to think that simple is best. You’ll find us doing the classics… no twists, no flairs, no maple-ginger- ]wasabi infusions. Just really good ingredients, done the way they’ve always been done.
Here are some of the ways you’ll find us sipping absinthe on March 5th:
New Orleans’ original cocktail and probably the most famous absinthe cocktail of them all. The Sazerac has been done many different ways, and by many different folks. We like to stick with a very classic preparation. Put on your best NOLA accent and follow the directions carefully.
- Wash your rocks or coupe glass with absinthe, we’ll be using Vieux Carre. (Thrown in a splash and swirl it around until the whole glass is coated with a thin layer).
- In a pint glass add 1 sugar cube or 1 tablespoon sugar to the bottom of the glass, add 3 FULL dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters right on top of the sugar.
- Top with 2 oz. of your favorite whiskey, we recommend Buffalo Trace.
- Add ice to the tippy top of the pint glass and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Strain the liquid of the pint glass into your absinthe rinsed glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
Death in the Afternoon
A recipe commonly attributed to Ernest Hemmingway whose suggestion to “drink three to five of these slowly” is something we can get behind. We plan on taking Mr. Hemmingway’s advice while reading the book this cocktail is named for.
- Put 1 oz. of absinthe in the bottom of a champagne flute.
- Top with ice cold bubbly. We suggest Casa del Mar cava.
- Step back and watch while the absinthe turns the whole drink an opalescent white.
- Drink three to five…slowly.
Corpse Reviver #2
We’d love to take credit for something this good, but this cocktail has been popular with bartenders since the turn of the Twentieth Century. It was originally designed as one of the first ever ‘hangover helpers.’ We’ll take this well balanced and refreshing cocktail over a Bloody Mary any day.
- In a small shaker tin add followed by ice.
- ¾ oz. St. George gin
- ¾ oz. Royal Combier (substitute triple sec if you need to at home)
- ¾ oz. Cocchi Americano white vermouth
- ¼ oz. Vieux Carre Absinthe
- Execute your best Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’ impression and shake until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a luxardo cherry
The Absinthe Drip
One of the most common ways to enjoy absinthe in its purist form. The absinthe drip, which requires getting a little fancy with an absinthe fountain, is for the true connoisseur.
1. Pour the 1.5 oz of absinthe into a glass.
2. Fill the fountain with cold water.
3. Place an absinthe spoon across the top of the glass.
4. Put the sugar cube on the spoon and turn on the fountain so it drips onto the sugar. When the sugar cube has dissolved from the dripping your cocktail is ready to be enjoyed!