Must find Absinthes for the Holidays by Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
An eyedropper would be too scientific to mete out some precious drops of water- or in the case of this highly unscientific tasting, some unsweetened coconut water. Later on, deeper into the tasting our session becomes even more unscientific with the introduction of both Royal Rose syrups and Bitter End Bitters... I’m looking for something much more challenging to the palate.
My friend Joe Forman and I spent a few hours today sipping, not spitting but hopefully drinking enough water (yes?) to make the time go by easily. We imbibed our way through a few bottle sent to me by their kind producers and PR firms.
Thank you for your generosity and kindness to me.
Tasting Notes and some original recipes using these magical potions.
We started with the Tenneyson Absinthe. Immediately, Joe perceived the nose of freshly crushed juniper berries. I then told him that the profile most certainly contained these potent fruits. The Tenneyson Absinthe smells like a nice balance between the sweet anise seeds, crushed between your fingers and freshly cut French herbs. There is a powerful Juniper nose right from the get/go. Slowly and with silent reverence the flavors of cardamom, coriander, black pepper and a bedtime mystery story reveal themselves. I taste my sample with cool, unsweetened coconut water. Teeny tiny Italian licorice candies from Italy, you know the ones, wrapped in waxed paper. The flavors imprint themselves into your mind. An instant memory, then a burst of cool menthol. This aromatic, cooling burn rounds the flavor out. The coconut water changes the mouth feel entirely- the mouth feel becomes creamy. Then a burst of the tropics. Plenty sharp from the brooding alcohol with just a splash of spring water. The anise finish keeps on going forever. Suddenly there is this new flavor entering the scene. The finish is morphing into those little bowls of cardamom and sugar candies that grace the entrance and exit of an Indian restaurant.
Basil Twist Cocktail
This cocktail includes a leaf of slapped fresh basil. (essential)
2 shots Tenneyson Absinthe
1 Round Gourmet Ice Cube from Glace
Slapped Basil leaf
To a cocktail shaker add two shots of the Tenneyson Absinthe, add some plain ice, just a couple of cubes. Add a piece of slapped basil. Chill by stirring with a non metallic stirrer. Strain into a coupe’ glass where one Glace ice cube sits. Top with Q-Tonic Water and a lime twirl. Sip to the Left Bank in Paris while the canal boats slip by.
How do you slap basil? Put a nice soft leaf in one hand and slap the other one like you’re clapping. This action releases the sensual aromas and flavor oils.
Amerique 1912 Rouge from Wisconsin has a bit more candy to the nose but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is non-alcoholic or weak in any way. At first sip, the nose is not strong, but when you taste it – there it is, staring right at you! The flavors are neither Indian nor Italian candy anise. The first flavor is of extreme power.
A highly contemplative anise flavor is revealed with a bit of cool spring water. Again, I had mine with a bit of chilled coconut water. Is it the alcohol that is burning? Perhaps, yes. But I’m suddenly worried- it creeps up on you quickly. This stuff rocks. It's over 120 proof. WARNING!!
With a tip of the hat to Hemmingway, the kind folks at Great Lakes Distillery have a Death in the Afternoon cocktail. Nice work.
I’ve devised a Death in the Morning cocktail. Drinking 3-5 of these in the morning is a very bad idea. Not that I have any experience- from any stretch of the word!
Death in the Morning Cocktail A not-so-subtle take-off on the French 75
1 shot of Amerique Absinthe Rouge or Verte
1/2 shot of St. George Rye Gin
3/4 glass of a good Spanish Cava
½ shot of Royal Rose Tamarind Syrup
1 Medicine dropper of Bitter End Mexican Mole’ Bitters
Juice of 1 charred Clementine (cut a peeled Clementine in half and char until crunchy and browned on a cast iron pan, then juice)
To a cocktail shaker add ½ ice, then the Rye (Gin) then the Absinthe. Add the syrup and the charred Clementine juice. Add one medicine dropper of the Mexican Mole’ Bitters. Shake until frosty. Pour into a tall champagne flute. Top with Cava, twirl in the Clementine twirl. Try not to have more than 3.
St. George Absinthe This exotic slurpy turns milky very quickly in the glass. I’m consistently impressed by the botanicals and the sweet herb notes. It has a basil and tarragon nose and a mouthfeel, although not as elegant as the Rouge, but totally unique in every way. When I tried it with a splash of unsweetened coconut water it softens out the herbal nose and makes the mouth feel rather creamy. It is finely delineated and almost crisp- all at the same time. With a sugar cube from La Perruche it opens up even more against the palate and becomes deeper in flavor. With a splash of coconut water and a good hit of Royal Rose Cardamom/Clove and a medicine dropper of Bitter End Thai Bitters- I’m suddenly without words. I recommend this Absinthe not only because it is delicious- it is because this Absinthe is unique.
The Liquid Hot Apple Pie Cocktail.
I call this drink the liquid hot apple pie cocktail. It’s got no apple in the mix- but after three or more of them it won’t matter much.
2 shots of St. George Absinthe
¼ shot of Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Cardamom/Clove
½ shot of unsweetened coconut water
Juice of one lime
1 medicine dropper of Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
Lime zest for garnish
Glace Ice cube in the shape of a round ball.
To a cocktail shaker filled ½ with ice add the Absinthe, Royal Rose Cardamom/Clove syrup then the coconut water. Add the juice of one lime and the bitters. Shake and strain into a coupe’ glass where a perfect Glace ice cube round waits patiently. Top with a splash of seltzer.
Garnish with a lime zest.