Food + Drink

From the Chronicle Kitchen: Absinthe Cocktails
50 Ways to Mix with the Green Fairy

With the resurgence of absinthe as a cocktail counterpart, we’re delighted to have recently published Absinthe Cocktails. It seemed fitting for us to release this cocktail collection, given that Chronicle published what’s considered the definitive English language history of this formerly forbidden beverage way back in 1988, Absinthe: History in a Bottle.

Our guest blogger this week is Kate Simon (editor-at-large at Imbibe Magazine). Enjoy these festive recipes—absinthe is green after all—and let us know what you think of them by leaving a comment and entering to win a copy I’ll be giving away the week of January 3rd (after our holiday break here at Chronicle headquarters).

I wish you all the happiest of holidays full of festive and beautiful food and drink.

And here’s Kate…

Many of us are trying to go green for the holidays with DIY, recycled, or non-material gifts. These festive absinthe cocktails give going green an entirely different meaning!

The minty-hued Absinthe and Old Lace, created by Jackson Cannon at Boston’s Eastern Standard, is one naughty grandma drink! It’s a delicious, absinthe-laced spin on the retro Grasshopper dessert cocktail. Bittermens’ Xocolatl Mole Bitters are well worth seeking out, but in a pinch, shaved bittersweet chocolate makes a suitable garnish.

Absinthe and Old Lace
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce dry gin
1/2 ounce absinthe verte
1/2 ounce green crème de menthe (Jackson likes Bourdeaux-made Marie Brizard’s)
1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
1/2 ounce half-and-half
1 egg white
Garnish: 1 dash Bittermens’ Xocolatl Mole Bitters or shaved bittersweet chocolate

Fill a stemmed glass with ice and let sit to chill. In a shaker, combine the ingredients and shake without ice to blend. Add ice and shake until chilled. Discard the ice from the stemmed glass, shaking out any excess water. Strain the contents of the shaker into the chilled glass. Garnish.

The romantic, aromatic Libertine cocktail, created by Charles Joly at the Chicago cocktail den The Drawing Room, is festive on its own, but you can up the ante by subbing sparkling wine for the Gewürztraminer.

Sparkling Gewürztraminer is a great choice if you can find it, or try another semi-sweet, floral sparkler like Moscato d’Asti. Whichever way you make it, don’t forget to vamp it with some blood-red rose petals. Twilight Eclipse DVD optional!

Makes 1 drink

1 ounce absinthe verte (Charles uses Chicago’s locally made Sirène)
1 ounce Gewürztraminer (for festive fizz, try sparkling Gewürztraminer or Moscato d’Asti)
1 ounce sweet vermouth, plus 3 drops (Charles likes Carpano Antica)
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
3 drops orange flower water (available at most spirits shops)
Garnish: edible flowers

Fill a stemmed glass with ice. In a shaker, combine the absinthe, Gewürztraminer, 1 ounce vermouth, lime juice, and simple syrup and shake with ice until chilled. (NOTE: If using sparkling wine, leave it out of the shaker and instead pour it gently into the cocktail glass.) Discard the ice from the stemmed glass, shaking out excess water. Strain the contents of the shaker into the chilled glass. Top with the 3 drops vermouth and the orange flower water. Garnish.

Purchase Absinthe Cocktails.

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