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Mixology Monday: Absinthe

Once per month cocktail fiends band together to create a booze-soaked collection of cocktail recipes for Mixology Monday.  This month’s host is Sonja of Thinking of Drinking, who chose absinthe as the theme.  From Sonja –

The topic for February is Absinthe. That much maligned, misunderstood, mistreated spirit, suddenly plentiful again in the US and other parts of the world. Absinthe played a role, whether large or small, in a variety of great cocktails from the 1800s and early 1900s – the Sazerac, Absinthe Suissesse, Corpse Reviver No. 2… I’m getting thirsty. So let’s celebrate absinthe’s history, and it’s future, with all manner of cocktails using absinthe.

I drink my fair share of Sazeracs and Corpse Revivers, and for good reason – they’re delicious.  But I wanted a drink that showcases absinthe as more than just a rinse or dash; and rather than going the route of an Absinthe Frappe, I decided to meet absinthe halfway.  So for this round of Mixology Monday, I’ve pulled out a cocktail that uses just enough absinthe to lightly slap you in the face, without knocking your teeth out – the Chrysanthemum Cocktail.

This little fellow is one of the few cocktails that uses vermouth as its main ingredient.  In fact, it uses a hearty two ounces of vermouth. Joined by one ounce of Benedictine and a teaspoon of absinthe, the Chrysanthemum comes together beautifully.  The floral vermouth tempers the strong flavors of the Benedictine and absinthe without being lost in the shuffle.

The Chrysanthemum Cocktail

chrysanthemum cocktail2 ounces dry vermouth
1 ounce Benedictine
1 teaspoon absinthe

Stir with ice until cold, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wide strip of orange peel.

Written by Kevin Gray

3 Comments

  1. Kevin · February 25, 2010

    Hi Nicole. Not a dumb question at all. As of 2007 absinthe has been fairly readily available in the states. In Boston you can get a handful of absinthes, including Lucid, Absente and Pernod, for starters.

  2. Cocktail Buzz · March 5, 2010

    Hey Kevin, Just celebrated National Absinthe Day with a Chrysanthemum. Thanks for the recipe and the write-up. Nice and herbal spicy. Paul & Steve

  3. Bruce Tanstaafl · August 9, 2011

    While I know this theme was absinthe but is it entirely neccesary? I like absinthe as much as the next person but have made this cocktail with Herbsainte as well and it does not seem to have any significant impact. Other pastis would likely work as well. A fun drink to play with the the balance between the vermouth and Bendictine depending on which element you want to take the lead. I have tried it with the vermouth:Benedictine at 1:1, 1.5:1 as well as 2:1 and each have their pluses. I have also seen recipes that call for brandy instead of Benedictine. I have not tried that and it doesn’t seem like it would be as good. And it certainly couldn’t be called a Chrysanthemum Cocktail!

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