Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pernod Absinthe Taste Tour of Boston - Part 1

By: Finance Foodie

Since I have to wake up at the crack of dawn for work every morning, I’m usually very adamant about going to bed before midnight. However, I do make exceptions for “special nights” – nights where something so cool and yummy occurs, I would feel regretful the next day/week/month if I missed out.

Last night was one that could be classified as a “special night”.
Pernod Absinthe
Pernod Ricard hosted an “Absinthe Excursion” on Tuesday night around Boston showcasing the use of Pernod Absinthe in a wide variety of cocktails. For those of you who are not familiar, Absinthe is a greenish 136-proof spirit distilled from Grand Wormwood, Fennel, and Star Anise (Anise being its dominate flavor profile). The spirit originated in Neuchatel, Switzerland and was greatly popular in late 19th- and early 20th-century France. Absinthe was subject to much controversy (some said it caused drinkers to hallucinate and go insane) and was banned in 1915. However, a revival occurred in 2000 (a new beginning for a new millennium as I like to say) and drink returned to full scale international production in 2007.

I’ve only tried Absinthe once before during one crazy summer in Europe, and that was in its pure form, which led to a fairly ridiculous night. Game on Boston!

Stop #1: Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale
All the Absinthe aficionados met up at Stoddard’s for the first leg of a soon to be long night. We started off with a Sazerac (rye whisky, simple syrup, Pernod Absinthe, bitters, garnished with a lemon twist) which was served with half shelled Island Creek Oysters. The oysters were tasty, but I thought the Sazerac was a bit too aggressive alcohol-wise
Island Creek Oysters
The next drink we had was a Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, lillet, lemon juice, Cointreau, Pernod Absinthe) paired with lobster hushpuppies and avocado cream. The lemon juice was too bitter and was overpowering the drink. The hush puppies were in dire need of salt (and inedible without the avocado cream). This course was a fail.
Corpse Reviver
Lobster Hushpuppies
The last drink at this stop was something called The Happy Fanny (Goslings Rum, green Chartreuse, simple syrup, bitters, Pernod Absinthe, and lime juice) – named after a (happy) customer named Fanny. This was served with a gouda and cask ale fondue.
Cask Ale Fondue
The Happy Fanny
Integral to the history of Absinthe is the 5 step French traditional ritual associated with drinking the drink in its pure form – which was the last drink at this stop. Basically you pour a measure of Absinthe in a glass (Step 1), then place a sugar cube on a flat perforated spoon on top of the glass (Step 2). Afterwards, you drip ice cold water on the sugar cube to dissolve it (Step 3) and then add three to five parts water to the glass (Step 4). Finally, its bottoms up (Step 5)!

Check back soon for Stops #2 and #3 of my tour!


Sparky said...

hmm if i wasn't mistaken, i heard it's the amphetamines in the absinthe that produces the craziness effect

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Finance Foodie said...'re the doctor so I'll trust you on that :)

Anonymous said...

You are mistaken Sparky. The myth about absinthe making anyone go crazy is baseless. If anyone tells you otherwise, they don't know anything about the drink.

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