Absinthe Cocktails

tenneyson absinthe

Absinthe, a high-proof herbal liquor, is most traditionally served straight under a water drip with a perched sugar cube. Because of absinthe’s strong anise (black licorice) flavor, cocktails featuring it are few and far between.

I decided to use Austin-based and French-distilled Tenneyson Absinthe Royale to make these cocktails. Tenneyson is a bit more mild than other absinthes (Lucid comes to mind) because it’s bottled at a lower proof (53% alcohol vs. Lucid’s 64%) and because the typical anise flavor is less pronounced in the taste. Here are the 2 simple absinthe cocktails I made, with a bonus recipe at the end:

This recipe can seem overwhelming, but the detail is actually in the ritual of preparation, which most consider essential to making a proper Sazerac.

  • fill an old fashioned glass with ice water to chill
  • in another old fashioned glass, muddle 1 sugar cube and 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • add 2 oz rye whiskey
  • top with ice and stir
  • empty the ice water from the first glass
  • splash in absinthe, rinse the glass with it, pour out the excess (I found Tenneyson to be mild enough that I just left the “splash” in the glass)
  • strain the sugar/bitters/rye mixture into the absinthe-washed glass
  • twist and squeeze a lemon peel into the glass
  • either discard the lemon peel or drop it into the cocktail, according to your preference

Obituary (the Absinthe Martini)
Tenneyson is especially great in this drink as the presentation is crystal-clear.

  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz absinthe
  • stir over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with lemon twist

Bonus recipe: Death in the Afternoon
This recipe was created by Ernest Hemingway.

  • pour 1 oz absinthe in a champagne flute
  • top with 5 ounces chilled champagne
  • drink 3 to 5 of these slowly

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