B Monster and Black Fairy Come Alive on Halloween 2010, A Taste for Absinthe

Why should kids have all the fun on October 31st?

After a review copy of A Taste for Absinthe (Clarkson Potter) landed on my desk a few days back, I thought right away, here's a natural fit for story in runup to Halloween 2010.

Scare factor was not the reason even though you might remember Absinthe was banned in the early 20th century after this poets favorites was branded as a method to madness by French authorities.

Cocktail names such as B Monster (page 102), Last Second (page 85), Thyme and Punishment (page 159) made is a must share.

I serve you a taste of the book with 2 of its recipes.


First, Death by Dusk (pictured above):

This is a version of the cocktail Death in the Afternoon (absinthe and champagne), which was created for a 1935 book of humorous cocktail riffs called So Red the Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon. While Death in the Afternoon is a great name, San Francisco-based Neyah White, from Nopa, admits it is a little lacking as far as drinks go. The addition of crème de violette has a rounding effect and gives the drink some subtlety.

½ ounce crème de violette

5 ounces sparkling wine

¼ ounce absinthe

1 maraschino cherry, for garnish 

Pour the crème de violette and wine into a flute. Float the absinthe on top, and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve.

Second, Black Fairy (pictured below):


The creator of this cocktail—Erika Fey of Cyrus in Healdsburg, California—frequently draws inspiration from the bounty of spectacular seasonal ingredients available from local Sonoma County farms to create unique cocktails with playful and surprising flavor combinations.

4 fresh blackberries

Fresh mint sprigs

¾ ounce Kubler absinthe

¾ ounce Michter’s rye whiskey

¾ ounce fresh lemon juice

¾ ounce Fever Tree tonic water

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 of the blackberries with a mint sprig. Add the absinthe, rye whiskey, lemon juice, and tonic water. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain the drink over an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with the remaining blackberry and a sprig of mint, and serve.

In one clean swoop, A Taste for Absinthe brings back to life classics and adds contemporary ones to the mix, 65 recipes all in all.

It was masterminded by R.Winston Guthrie, founder of Absinthe Buyers Guide and James F.Thompson with illuminating photos courtesy of Liza Gershman.

Twist, shake, stir?

No evil doers.

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