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December 16, 2008

Try Absinthe at Home


by Julia Bainbridge

Well, it's about a year since absinthe became legal in the States again, and a number of cocktail geeks who had been fooling around with the green fairy on the down-low are now out and proud with their relationships. Within months of the ban being lifted, Marteau, Pacifique, Trillium, and Taboo all came onto the spirits scene.

The Hemingways of the world loved the stuff in the early twentieth century, when it was the poetic (and somewhat painful) drip of water over sugar. (Note from Oregon-based bartender and spirits writer Jeffrey Morgenthaler: "The ritual of lighting a sugar cube on fire and dropping it into absinthe is inauthentic, a recent invention, and a potentially dangerous ceremony centered around the consumption of illegitimate absinthes of inferior quality.") Now the green hour of the day is back, and instead of drip, drip, drip, it's shake, stir, strain, as bartenders nationwide are mixing absinthe into cocktails. New York's own cocktail guru Kevin Patricio shared with us a recipe he created for this year's Moth Ball, using Le Tourment Vert.

Champs L'Absinthe
0.75 oz. Le Tourment Vert absinthe
0.5 oz. elderflower cordial
0.25 oz. Benedictine
Dash Fee Brother's Orange Bitters
1 oz. cava or prosecco
Orange twist
In a cocktail shaker, add Le Tourment Vert, elderflower, Benedictine, and bitters. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a champagne flute. Garnish with an orange twist.
(Note: Twist should be the size of a thumb print and have as little pith as possible.)

Further reading:
* Read more here from Jeffrey Morganthaler's Q&A with Pacific Northwest absinthe distillers.
* Here, our friend Jamie Boudreau of Spirits and Cocktails shares his thoughts on absinthe's new school.
* For a little more background on the proper absinthe ritual, check out the Absinthe Museum of America, the Virtual Absinthe Museum, and the Wormwood Society.
* Clear up misconceptions with's "Everything you know about absinthe is wrong."


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