Cocktail Hour: Sweet Moonlight

Chris writes:
I like Absinthe. I mean really like it. But it has to be the real stuff from the Czech Republic or some other post-Soviet country. A place where they understand that sometimes you drink to make your life seem better - and Absinthe can do just that. It has an unbelievably high alcohol content (160-180 proof) combined with a musty/dirty/bitter taste. There really aren't many nice things you can say about Absinthe other than after drinking something so vile and unpleasant you think, "My life may be bad, but its not that bad." I am not saying that Americanized Absinthe like 'Lucid' isn't good, it just misses the loucheness of the real stuff.

In absence of said 'real stuff', I recommend Pastis Absente. It offers the traditional flavors of Absinthe without the crude alcohol overkill. Originally made in France in 1915, Pastis Absente is similar to Turkish Raki or Bulgarian Mustika. It has the flavors of star anise, sage, cardamom and black pepper found in Italian Sambuca - but is nowhere as sweet; just pure sharp flavor.

One way to balance the strength of the flavors is to mix the alcohol with cold water that has been slowly dripped over a sugar cube. This can be a tedious ritual and calls for specialized equipment. My recipe (below) introduces a little simple syrup along with lemon to offset the harshness and brighten the dank flavors. When mixed with water the Pastis becomes milky opaque with yellow green hues. Just like the moonlight that was scattered across our lawn the night this drink was created. Enjoy.

1 measure simple syrup
1 1/2 measures Pastis
1/2 measure water
splash lemon juice

Pour all ingredients in order above into a tall glass over ice.


Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

Great idea. I've never tasted Absinthe (yet) but need to try out your pastis cocktail, especially as the weather is turning so much warmer. I love how you're doing this as a couple, must be fun tasting together. Is that enough sugar? No, let's have another with bit less lemon... ;-)

Mindy@whiskibusiness.com said...

You have me very curious now....I MUST try it!!!! No option--MUST!!! Love your blog!

K.M. Robbins said...

This looks great! I've always wanted to find a cocktail that uses absinthe. Ever sense I had in ice-cream form in Prague, I've been a huge fan.

Tiffany said...

I've never had absinthe! But I just re-watched the Anthony Bourdain Paris episode, which totally makes me want to try it! And with your drink just makes my intrigue stronger!

Paula said...

what an awesome blog! I absolutely love it and can`t wait to see more posts in the future! :)

have a great time,

Kate@Diethood said...

I am going to be on the look out for it... I wonder if Absinthe is like "Rakija"...what we have down in the Balkan Region...any idea?

lisa is cooking said...

I'm coming around to the anise flavor, and I've enjoyed a few absinthe cocktails lately. The splash of lemon in this one sounds great!

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for the add
rice looks delicious

Elyse @The Cultural Dish said...

This is something I'll have to try - you have piqued my interest

Jason Phelps said...

I've got a bottle of it on my rack right now. I don't crave it all the time, but it is a nice way to mix up an evening!


SomethingDifferentForDinner said...

Hey there FoodBuzz friend, great post!! Love it too!! Cheers!

Greg said...

I love this because it taught us something new. So glad you brought it to Ladies Night.