Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Green Fairy

So this evening we went to a mixology seminar at the Windsor Court Hotel on Absinthe. It was led by Ted Breaux, the dude who took the whole absinthe mythology to task and worked to get it legalized in both the United States and France. He's a chemist and distiller and makes Lucid absinthe.

We started with a cocktail that Breaux had invented, called the "St. Germaniac," which was St. Germaine, Angustura bitters, and absinthe, topped with ginger ale. We then moved to the classic Absinthe Frappe, which seemed to be absinthe and gum syrup shaken till very, very cold. That was quite intense.

Then we delved into pre-Prohibition cocktails that Breaux has been collecting from various antique cocktail books. The first was the "Beginner" which was taken from The Flowing Bowl, by William Schmidt in 1892.

2 dashes gum syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash absinthe
equal parts French/dry vermouth and Russian Kümmel

Next was the Absinthe (Special) Cocktail:
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
2/3 absinthe
1/6 gin
1/6 gum syrup
From The Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock in 1930

This one was pretty hardcore. Breaux called it "the one that does it," an apt description. It was primarily absinthe.

After that, the Brazil cocktail, also from the Savoy Cocktail Book. Breaux wanted to do a cocktail with sherry, and this is the one he chose.
1 dash absinthe
1 dash angostura bitters
equal parts French/dry vermouth and Sherry

Then Breaux wanted to finish with a cocktail that had maraschino liqueur- which I support, especially when he decided on trying the L'Aurore, because that also included Italian/sweet vermouth and I noticed that he was using my favorite sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica, which is just incredibly wonderful. This was my favorite cocktail of the night:

1 dash gum syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash maraschino
1 dash absinthe
equal parts Old Tom Gin and sweet (Italian) vermouth

Tom did some cocktail shaking:

I sat next to a local cocktail writer/and scenester, Margarita Bergen. She writes a local column,"A Toast To New Orleans" and apparently owns hundreds of hats. She was a RIOT.

To quote my new friend Margarita, DARLINGS!

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