Absinthe Workshop with Jeff Hollinger

Jeff Hollinger is the manager of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in San Francisco, mixmaster extraordinaire, and co-author of the award-winning book, Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics.

artofthebar

He was in New Orleans this weekend and hosted an absinthe cocktail workshop and tasting at the Absinthe Museum of America (823 Royal St. in the French Quarter). He spoke a little about the history of absinthe and what it means for cocktails now that the ban’s been lifted, showed us some interesting drink recipes utilising absinthe as an ingredient, and let us taste a whole bunch of interesting stuff.

His current favorite absinthe is Obsello, an absinthe verte from Spain:

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I’m not a big absinthe connoisseur, but I enjoyed the Obsello prepared in the traditional manner with sugar and water. It was smooth and creamy, with a powdery mouthfeel.

On to the cocktails (I didn’t take notes, but I’ll do my best):

Sacred Heart

3 parts La Pinta Pomegranate Tequila

2 parts absinthe

1 part limoncello

juice of half a lemon

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sinister Flip

1 egg white

2 parts gin

1 part absinthe

1 part strawberry syrup*

Shake all ingredients first without ice so as to get the egg white nice and frothy. Add ice, shake some more, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Hollinger sometimes adds a drop of a rosemary tincture at the end, made with rosemary and vodka.

* to make the strawberry syrup, just boil strawberries, water, and sugar


Yesterday’s Song

3 parts rum

2 parts absinthe

1 part maraschino liqueur

juice of half a lime

handful of fresh rosemary

Lightly muddle ingredients together, then shake with ice, strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Although we drank it straight-upm Hollinger says he typically serves this drink long, with a little ginger beer on top.

Drink the name for which I can’t remember

2 parts mezcal

1 part absinthe

1 part port

Stir together with ice and strain into a glass. Meant to be an aperitif.

Overall, the Sinister Flip was my favorite. I loved the creaminess imparted by the egg white, and the fruity-herby combo of strawberry, juniper, and anise was delightful. I did not like the one with mezcal–too smoky for my tastes. The other two were good, but I will definitely be craving the Sinister Flip again.

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