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)
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:
Sazerac 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.