Bon Appétit (May 2009)
We have a bottle of absinthe in our liquor cabinet that has become sort of joke.
Zach had smuggled said bottle into the country almost nine years ago -- back when the sale of absinthe in the U.S. was still forbidden -- and it has since languished in the backs of cabinets, the tops of closets, and for the past three years, in our liquor cabinet.
We pull it out on occasion, make some joke about drinking it, or about wormwood hallucinations, or green fairies. And then we deposit it back in its place.
But it was the inclusion of absinthe in this classic Sazerac cocktail that piqued our interest.
Finally, our absinthe was going to be put to use!
Those wanting to try this recipe to experience supposed hallucinogenic properties of absinthe will be disappointed. The amount used in this Sazerac is minimal; absinthe is swirled to coat the glass, and then discarded.
Besides absinthe, the Sazerac uses rye whiskey, sugar, water, and both Peychaud's and angostura bitters. The Peychaud's and angostura give an herbal, medicinal -- and, well, bitter -- flavor to the cocktail, which is balanced out by their absorption into the sugar. Mixed with whiskey and made very cold, it makes for a stiff but refreshing cocktail. It's a classic indeed.
* Ice cubes
* 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon Peychaud's bitters
* 1/8 teaspoon angostura bitters
* 1 teaspoon water
* 1/4 cup rye whiskey (such as Michter's)
* 2 teaspoons absinthe (such as Pernod's)
* 1 lemon peel twist
Fill 1 old-fashioned glass with ice; set aside. Place sugar cube in another old-fashioned glass. Pour bitters, then water over sugar; muddle with back of spoon until sugar dissolves.
Add ice to fill glass, then add whiskey. Let stand, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Discard ice from first glass; add absinthe. Swirl to coat inside of glass, then pour out absinthe. Strain whiskey mixture into glass. Twist lemon peel above cocktail and run along lip of glass. Discard lemon.