Saturday, November 20

Absinthe Drip Cocktail

Here we go. THE Absinthe drink, mostly because, well, it's just Absinthe with a little water and sugar to balance things out. Anything you've ever heard about Absinthe stems from this simple drink, mostly because this is how they did it. Pablo Picasso. Jules Verne. Degas. Oscar Wilde. Edgar Allan Poe. And, of course, Vincent Van Gogh.

Absinthe Drip Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz Absinthe
Dissolve one lump (cube) of sugar, using the French Drip spoon, and fill glass with cold water. Use old Fashioned Cocktail glass.

First, my makeshift equipment:

I don't have an Absinthe spoon, but a strainer (here, my fine strainer, but I've used a Julep or a Hawthorne before.) works just as well. There is also such a thing as an Absinthe glass, which basically just has a bulb at the bottom that measures an ounce or an ounce and a half of Absinthe, but a simple rocks glass is perfect.

A good trick: when you first start to pour, get the sugar cube wet and wait a little bit to give it time to dissolve a little. That way, you're not trying really hard to dissolve it and adding more water than you'd like. But what's not very clearly said in the directions: drizzle the sugar cube with the water, the slower the better, so that the sweetened water falls into the Absinthe slowly. Can't stress enough: Slowly.

Very important note: Do not light your sugar cube on fire unless the Absinthe that you're using is just dreadful. That's a practice that started in the Czech bars because, well, a lot of the Czech Absinthe is...just dreadful. You completely destroy a lot of the delicate flavors present in a good Absinthe when you put a large amount of caramelized sugar into it. And, actually, depending on your Absinthe, you may not even need the sugar. Kubler isn't terribly sweet in and of itself, so I use the cube.

The amount of water you use is completely up to you. I've gone as little as 3:1 and as much as 6:1, but it's completely up to your taste. Just make sure that it is ice cold, since you're not going to be adding any other ice to the drink otherwise.

The great thing about this drink is it really depends on the Absinthe you use. Much like a whiskey, where a little water opens things up and brings out all of the flavors, the water added to the Absinthe brings out all of the different botanicals and flavors that you'd never get if you were just drinking a warm shot.

Also note: Absinthe louches. That's a fancy word that means "gets cloudy when you add water." It has to do with the oils in the liquor that are released with the addition of water, and it's really pretty cool to see. As you add water, even one drip at a time, you'll see nothing, nothing, nothing, and then suddenly you'll see things starting to get cloudy (in a layer, which is awesome), followed by the liquor completely turning cloudy. Very cool effect. If mine were green, it would louche green, but since mine is clear, it louches milky white.

It's an expensive hobby to have a lot of different Absinthes, but you can taste subtle differences between the different brands in this format. So, if you can, get a good one, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, what's the name of that glass with the spout, and where'd you get it? I could use something like that.