Image from Mt. Defiance
Made in the true Belle Époque style, Mt. Defiance’s flagship absinthe isn’t for drinking straight. The spirit’s complex bouquet of herbal flavor is best enjoyed in a cocktail. The following are two of our favorites.
Until recently, the official drink of New Orleans was made sans one of its primary ingredients: absinthe. Here’s a recipe adapted from the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail conference.
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
1/4 ounce absinthe
Twist of lemon peel, for garnish
Chill an old-fashioned glass by packing it with ice. Add the sugar cube and bitters to a separate old-fashioned glass. Muddle to dissolve the sugar (completely). Add rye whiskey and a cube of ice. Stir and mix well.
Remove the ice from the other glass. Add the absinthe and coat the glass. Add the whiskey-sugar mixture by straining. Twist the lemon peel over contents, rub around the rim of the glass and use as a garnish.
Another New Orleans staple, legend has it this classic cocktail was invented by acclaimed Old Absinthe House bartender Cayetano Ferrer in 1874. The concoction fell into obscurity following the U.S. ban on absinthe in 1912.
Ice, crushed and cubed
8 to 10 mint leaves for muddling and garnish
1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see method below)
2 ounces club soda
1 1/2 ounces absinthe
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Drop the mint leaves into the bottom of a cocktail shaker and gently muddle. Add the absinthe and simple syrup (to taste). Fill with ice cubes. Shake for about 15 seconds, vigorously. Strain the contents into the glass. Add club soda and stir gently. Garnish with mint.
For Simple Syrup: Make the 2:1 simple syrup by adding 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of sugar, stirring until fully dissolved. Bring to a slow boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for five minutes. Cool to room temperature in a heatproof container.