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July/August 2010


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WINE & SPIRITS

That Je Ne Sais Quoi
(continued)

Pernod, once the dominant brand, has brought its absinthe back. Instead of celebrating the ritual of a traditional absinthe drip—the slow addition of water over a sugar-cube topped spoon—the producers have urged American bartenders to create new absinthe-based cocktails. Last spring, the brand organized an absinthe cocktail crawl in NYC, where it piled journalists into Prohibition-era antique cars for a tour of lower Manhattan's bespoke-cocktail joints—Raines Law Room, Macao Trading Company, Apotheke. Drinks highlighted the mix of absinthe's botanicals—wormwood, mugwort, anise, peppermint—without overwhelming them.

The French are now en route to becoming big players in the international mixology mania. And apparently cocktails are even catching on at home in France, where the boozy afternoon affair—the pousse café traditionally fueled by Champagne—is now being ignited by more potent mixed drinks. Quelle scandal!

 
Grand Smash Cocktail
 
1½ oz. Grand Marnier
4 chunks fresh lemon
6–8 mint leaves
 
Muddle mint leaves and lemon
in a tall mixing glass.
Add Grand Marnier and ice
and shake vigorously.
Strain over ice in a rocks glass
and garnish with fresh mint.  

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