For our second post from our journey through The Savoy Cocktail Book, we present the “Absinthe (Special) Cocktail.” It sounded better than the immediately preceding “Absinthe Cocktail,” so we skipped to the “special” version.
We couldn’t wait to get this post live because this will be a great cocktail for your fall entertaining, if you can find good absinthe. Absinthe got a bad rap (and was banned) in the early twentieth century, but now you can find domestic and European absinthe pretty easily. You can read more about the history of absinthe here.
We used Absinthe Verte from St. George Spirits, since it’s right across the bay from our house, we’ve been there, and we know what’s in it. It’s essentially brandy distilled with bunch of herbs, including star anise, mint, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, basil, fennel, tarragon, and stinging nettle.
Absinthe has a tremendously strong anise flavor, so if you don’t like anise or black liquorice, we’d suggest skipping this one. The flavor is so bold that a little goes a long way. We scaled down the recipe to measure it in tablespoons instead of ounces, and served it in our smallest cocktail coupes. Our friend Kelly got them for us from a shop in Napa, but you can find similar here, here, and here.
The key ingredient in this cocktail is gum syrup. It’s similar to simple syrup but much thicker, so it gives the cocktail more body and smooth, rich texture. We served these shaken and strained, then garnished with a strip of orange peel. We used this one, but this and this are great options as well.