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A Taste For Absinthe: 6 Cocktails To Try At Home (PHOTOS, RECIPES)

First Posted: 10/11/10 05:48 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:00 PM ET


After a century-long ban in the U.S., the federal government gave absinthe a semi-green light in 2007, 2010-10-11-ATasteforAbsinthe.jpgand the anise-flavored liquor is making its way into cocktails from some of the most talented mixologists around the country. Many of these magical concoctions can be found in the new book, A Taste For Absinthe, from R. Winston Guthrie, the man behind AbsintheBuyersGuide.com. In addition to 65 cocktail recipes making use of the myriad absinthes now available to us, A Taste For Absinthe also features a comprehensive buyer's guide for absinthe purchasing, insight from leading cocktail experts, and magnificent photographs from Liza Gershman.

The publishers of A Taste for Absinthe were kind enough to share six complete cocktail recipes from the book, with Gershman's corresponding photographs. From new takes on classic absinthe uses like the Sazerac and the Death in the Afternoon to wholly original creations like The Hobnob and the L'arc de Triomphe, flip through the cocktails and their recipes below.

The Hobnob
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Hobnob is an archaic word that means “to drink socially.” A hob is also a mischievous fairy, playing on the idea of absinthe as the Green Fairy. Jonathan Henson of Press Restaurant in Napa Valley, California, added grapefruit zest and lime zest to this recipe because they not only add a flavorful citrus note but also work to enhance the flavors of the absinthe. The mixture of the grapefruit zest and absinthe creates a gentle numbing sensation on the tongue. To enhance this effect, trying infusing the gin ahead of time with the zest of a grapefruit.

¼ ounce absinthe
one 1-inch square of grapefruit zest
one 1-inch square of lime zest
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
½ ounce fresh lime
2 ounces No. 209 gin
½ ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
strip of grapefruit rind, for garnish

Pour the absinthe into an empty rocks glass. Wash the glass with absinthe and pour out the excess. Set glass aside. Add grapefruit zest, lime zest, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the zests until they begin to break apart. Add the grapefruit juice and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice. Add the gin and maraschino liqueur. Shake hard. Strain the drink into the prepared glass. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit, and serve.
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All photos and recipes are reprinted from the book A Taste for Absinthe by R. Winston Guthrie with James F. Thompson. Copyright © 2010 by R. Winston Guthrie with James F. Thompson. Photographs copyright © 2010 by Liza Gershman. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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