Absinthe has been enjoying a renaissance in the United States and abroad, ever since the ban was lifted several years ago. There are plenty of reasons to sip this once medicinal spirit in bars or restaurants right now.
However, absinthe is still a victim of its own success in many ways. Ever since it became so popular in the 18th century, numerous charlatans created imitations that cut a few too many corners, leading to the hallucinogenic or even deadly reputation that absinthe still carries today. Thankfully, distilleries and ingredients are highly regulated now, so the only thing to be concerned with is the very high proof at which this spirit is often bottled.
While everyone should experience the classic French drip presentation (with sugar cube and ice cold water slowly applied to create an opaque louche), absinthe cocktails, like the Necromancer, created by the highly talented Mayur Subbarao for Louro Restaurant in New York's West Village, show off the beauty of the spirit's anise and fennel characteristics, but also compliment those herbal flavors with bright citrusy and floral notes. Essentially a play on the classic Corpse Reviver, Mayur uses the French-made Tenneyson white, or blanche, absinthe for this drink, which is in the Swiss style and great for mixing in cocktails.
Even if you think absinthe or the essence of its holy trinity of herbs: wormwood, anise and fennel, isn't your thing, this drink will have you guessing again. However, as the name suggests, it's entirely possible there's a bit of magic or witchcraft at hand. Ask Mayur and he'll be happy to explain, I'm sure. In the spirit of Mardi Gras, try serving this drink alongside NOLA favorites, like oysters, catfish po-boys or a spicy gumbo.
- 3/4 ounce Tenneyson Absinthe
- 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc
- 3/4 ounce Pür Likör Blossom Elderflower Liqueur
- dash of Beefeater Gin
- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice vigorously for about 15 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
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