DOUG PETRY, RYE, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, 2012
This cocktail wasn’t on the menu the night I walked into Rye, an excellent and adventurous young
restaurant in Louisville’s East Market District. But after a short chat with the bartender, the drink came up in conversation. I ordered it as a sort of dare, to see if it was possible that lethally strong absinthe could function as the base of an Old-Fashioned. “We wanted to do a menu based on the Old-Fashioned with the basic recipe coming down to base spirit, bittering agent, and sweetening agent,” said Petry. “We wanted to try it with some spirits that weren’t typical and thought absinthe would be a fun way to go with it. After a few missteps, we found a recipe that we liked and went with it.” It takes an equal measure of sweet stuff —in this case a combination of simple syrup and elderflower liqueur—to tame the fiery power of the absinthe. But tame it, it does, while also nicely toning down the licorice flavor. The Peychaud’s adds a needed dry note as well as provides some color to the milky green liquid. Still, don’t make the mistake of drinking two of these. In fact, make it your final drink of the night. You won’t need another.
1½ ounces Kübler absinthe
1 ounce simple syrup (page 73)
½ ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
3 or 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Combine the absinthe, simple syrup, and St-Germain in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled. Strain over a large chunk of ice in an Old-Fashioned glass. Float the Peychaud’s bitters on top.
From Page 73:
SIMPLE SYRUP, MAKES 1 CUP
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. The moment the water begins to boil, remove from the heat, let cool, then refrigerate. Stored tightly sealed in the refrigerator, the syrup will keep for 1 week.
(*Reprinted with permission from The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photographs (c) 2014 by Daniel Krieger)