Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Absinthe Suisse

white-colored Absinthe Suisse cocktail in a collins glass, garnished with a mint sprig
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Absinthe has a romantic and nearly mythological reputation. Over the years, the “Green Fairy” has been favored by writers and artists, from Hemingway to Van Gogh. But it’s also suffered a nefarious reputation, as absinthe was said to inspire dangerous hallucinations. We now know that myth is false, or at least associated with overconsumption of the high-proof spirit rather than its ingredients.

Despite or perhaps because of its notoriety, absinthe has remained a fascination for many drinkers. Some are introduced to it via the Sazerac, in which it is used sparingly. Others have enjoyed an Absinthe Drip that features the spirit in full force, simply diluted with cold water. Absinthe is nothing if not versatile.

“To me, absinthe is meant to fill one of two roles,” says New York bartender Wilmer Nolasco. “It’s either a base spirit or a supporting ingredient meant to highlight other flavors in drinks.” A full ounce goes into the Absinthe Suisse, his linguistically neutral-gendered take on the Absinthe Suissesse, a New Orleans brunch cocktail that assumes a more feminine form in both name (in French) and delicate flavor.

“Absinthe’s best attributes are that it’s nuanced but very upfront about what it is,” says Nolasco. “Too often, I see people overuse the ingredient in terms of proportion.” 

The Absinthe Suisse features absinthe, creme de menthe, tequila, pastis, heavy cream, orgeat, lemon juice, rose flower water, egg white and a mint sprig. The tequila and lemon juice are unique to this version and not found in the Absinthe Suissesse. The cocktail is herbal and creamy, balanced by sweetness and citrus, and a fine example of what absinthe can do in drinks.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce St. George Spirits absinthe verte

  • 1/2 ounce Marie Brizard creme de menthe

  • 1/4 ounce Fortaleza blanco tequila

  • 1/4 ounce Pernod Ricard pastis

  • 3/4 ounce heavy cream

  • 3/4 ounce orgeat

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 8 drops rose flower water

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 mint sprig

  • Club soda, to top

  • Garnish: mint sprig

Steps

  1. Add the absinthe, creme de menthe, tequila, pastis, heavy cream, orgeat, lemon juice, rose flower water, egg white and mint sprig into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.

  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.

  3. Fine-strain into a Collins glass and allow to stand for a minute so the frothed egg white settles at the top of the drink.

  4. Using a straw or bar spoon handle, make a small hole in the middle of the froth and slowly pour the soda water into the glass.

  5. Garnish with a mint sprig.