I've always been intrigued by absinthe. Maybe the hallucinogenic controversy sparked my curiosity, or perhaps I was just enticed by Kylie Minogue's beckoning voice in Moulin Rouge. More recently, this interesting video from the Obsessives series about the St. George absinthe gave me a new found respect for the spirit. When I was in London last year, our hotel had the most delicious cocktails made with absinthe and now on the rare occasions that I sip it, I think back to late nights in that quaint, dim lobby bar. Even with its black licorice-y taste, when absinthe is mixed with the right sidekicks, yummy flavors ensue making the perfect digestif with a side of scandal. I modified this cocktail from one I found in Absinthe Cocktails, a great recipe book for your bar cart if you like the green fairy as much as I do.
Whiskey to coat the glass
1 oz absinthe + a few extra drops for good measure
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (that's about one large lemon)
3/4 oz simple syrup (this ingredient is very important, don't try to replace it with agave nectar or anything)
1 egg white
3 dashes bitters
In a stemmed glass, coat the inside with just enough whiskey to cover the surface and pour out the excess. In a shaker, combine the remaining ingredients and shake without ice first so the egg white will blend.
Add ice and shake until it's nice and chilled. Strain into the glass and twist a lemon peel over the drink as garnish. Dash the bitters on top and stir it in a bit.
Sip leisurely and discuss your darkest thoughts with an artsy friend.