This cocktail is old school, with roots back to 1930 in the Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s also potent and a bit sharp tasting, too, probably a result of all those pungent mixture of herbs in both the vermouth and absinthe. Now that I’ve made it and tried it, I think the Duchess would benefit from a more sweet dry vermouth, like Vya Whisper Dry or Contratto Bianco, as regular dry vermouth felt like it contrasted with the absinthe.
Give this 85-year-old cocktail a try and let me know what you think:
1 oz absinthe
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz sweet vermouth
stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
I was browsing Mr. Boston’s Cocktail book recently, and discovered a cocktail I’d never heard of. This drink ends up a cool, bright yellow because of the mixture of the two ingredients. This is a potent drink – it clocks in at a meager 2 oz – and it’s a great excuse to use you old-timey cocktail coupes:
1 oz absinthe
1 oz whiskey
stir with ice and strain into a small, chilled cocktail glass
“Stop moving! I know what this is — it’s Devil’s Snare!”
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this year’s Halloween cocktail: a Devil’s Snare. Green and wicked just like the fictional plants themselves, this cocktail is not for those who are easily frightened!
…or for those who hate licorice flavor.
One thing that makes the presentation so cool with this drink is you get to make your own Halloween sugar using Angostura bitters. White sugar and several dashes of Angostura makes for the perfect orange sugar rim.
Devil’s Snare (by Greg Mays)
1 1/5 oz Agwa de Bolivia
1 oz Absinthe
shake on ice,
strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with orange sugar
A friend recently gave me a bottle he bought abroad of Sebor Absinth, which is a Czech version of the green fairy. From what I can tell, Sebor is not available in the U.S., though it can be ordered at The Spirit Cellar for £31.95.
Absinthe is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of drink, and some are enamored with with licorice bite while others detest it. I’m no aficanado, but I found Sebor to taste just fine, plus the slightly lower alcohol (55% vs some absinthe which tops 70%) means you can just serve it on the rocks if you like, or use it as a cocktail ingredient without usual risk of it dominating the whole drink.
I wanted to create a summer absinthe sipper with Sebor, much like the Death in The Afternoon cocktail, Ernest Hemingway’s absinthe/champagne coma recipe. The absinthe and a sweet, citrusy white vermouth are a good combination:
Wisp of Evil (by Greg Mays)
in a glass full of ice, add:
1 1/2 oz absinthe
1 1/2 oz Vya Whisper Dry vermouth (Lillet Blanc would also be a good choice)