Absinthe was made by Dr Pierre Ordinaire in the late 18th century as a medicinal elixir or tonic. The vital herbal ingredient, wormwood (artemisia absinthium) has been used for thousands of years as being a digestive tonic and to stimulate the appetite. Absinthe should therefore be served as an aperitif before a meal, an appetizer served with a few hors d’oeuvres and finger food.
Absinthe features a strong anise flavor as well as a slight bitterness so it is best to not serve it using a meal. However, Absinthe can be utilized in cooking, much like wine. When cooking, the alcohol will probably be shed and you will be left with the anise or licorice taste which is great in marinades. Here is a recipe for a delicious marinade for chicken or fish.
2 tbsp dried tarragon or possibly a handful of fresh tarragon
2 tbsp dried chervil or possibly a handful of fresh chervil
1 cup of Absinthe
1 cup of dry white wine
2 tbsp sugar
A dash of salt and a grind of pepper
Blend all of the ingredients in a large bowl and leave for a few hours, preferably overnight. Marinade chicken or fish within the mixture for several hours within the fridge after which grill, barbecue or bake to shed off the alcohol.
You may also use Absinthe in stir fries and when basting meats, but make certain you always blend it with sugar or fruit juice to compensate for the bitterness of the wormwood.
Even the sexy French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has long been known to utilize it in his recipes – risottos, Absinthe ice cream and marinades and infusions for vegetables and fish. Absinthe ice cream -yum!
There are also many recipes online for Absinthe cookies and also Absinthe cupcakes with Absinthe frosting. Absinthe has a lot of uses!
Absinthe is usually great in cocktails. Ernest Hemingway created a cocktail called “Death in the Afternoon” in which he famously blended Absinthe with champagne, very self-indulgent. The Sazerac is a popular Absinthe cocktail usually served in New Orleans:-
1 teaspoon of Absinthe
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 ½ ounces of rye whisky
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Deep freeze a cocktail glass in the freezer then pour the Absinthe into it, swilling it around to let it coat the inside of the glass.Place the remaining elements in to a cocktail shaker, shake and pour in the glass. Garnish using a twist of lemon and drink.
You must remember, when you are mixing Absinthe along with other alcoholic drinks, that Absinthe is a very strong liquor – approximately 150 proof, 75% alcohol by volume, so don’t get caught up!
So, what food to serve with Absinthe? Serve Absinthe as being an aperitif before any meal, use it in cocktails, marinades, ice cream and cakes. Enjoy the Green Fairy.