Halloween is a great excuse to whip up a fun seasonal cocktail. Unfortunately, most of those drinks are saturated with super sugary neon hued gunk in the form of cheap schnapps and other liquors that have less to do with a quality cocktail and more to do with getting the right Halloween-y looking drink drowning in artificial syrups. Horrifying!
And yet this dilemma presented me with a perfect challenge: making festive cocktails that are made from quality ingredients. Personally, my tastes in cocktails run towards the classics--martinis, gimlets, old fashioneds--simple drinks with a few superb ingredients. Now all I needed was appropriately spooky or mercurial twists on these standards. So, my challenge began.
The result? This absinthe-based cocktail, for starters. Absinthe, once banned in America for the purported insanity-causing properties of wormwood (one of its chief ingredients), struck me as the perfect base for a Halloween-inspired cocktail. An insanity causing liquor with a shady history? The sipper of choice among artists and writers ever in search of that elusive muse? The green fairy that is said to emerge when this high-proof liquor is diluted with water and turns a cloudy green color? Sounds to me like the perfect foundation for an inspiration inducing potion that mimics the seductive playfulness of the Green Fairy herself.
I used Mephisto Absinthe, rich with not only anise but herbs like sage and cinnamon. These other herbs round out the licorices flavor so that it is not overly cloying. The use of gin contributes to the herbaceous note of this cocktail, and the lime juice adds a pop brightness. What you end up with is a faintly green glass of goodness--and maybe a little creative inspiration for that next project of yours.
1/4 oz absinthe
2 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
2-3 dashes grapefruit bitters (optional)
In a shaker, combine ingredients and shake vigorously. Let sit for half a minute, long enough for the ice to melt and dilute potency of the absinthe. Pour into your cocktail glass and enjoy! Serves one, so double the recipe and see if you and your friend have any other green fairy sightings!
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