Absinthe was made by Dr Pierre Ordinaire during the late eighteenth century as being a medicinal elixir or tonic. The vital herbal element, wormwood (artemisia absinthium) has been utilized for thousands of years as being a digestive tonic and to induce the appetite. Absinthe should thus be served being an aperitif before a meal, an appetizer served with some hors d’oeuvres and finger food.
Absinthe carries a strong anise flavor as well as a slight bitterness so it is best to not serve it by using a meal. Nonetheless, Absinthe can be used in cooking, much like wine. When cooking, the alcohol will probably be burned off and you will be left with the anise or licorice taste that is great in marinades. Here is a recipe for a tasty marinade for chicken or fish.
2 tbsp dried tarragon or a handful of fresh tarragon
2 tbsp dried chervil or a handful of fresh chervil
1 cup of Absinthe
1 cup of dry white wine
2 tbsp sugar
A dash of salt plus a grind of pepper
Blend all the ingredients inside a large bowl and leave for a few hours, ideally overnight. Marinade chicken or fish within the mixture for several hours inside the fridge and after that grill, barbecue or bake to burn off the alcohol.
You may also use Absinthe in stir fries and when basting meats, but make sure that you always mix it with sugar or fruit juice to compensate for the bitterness of the wormwood.
Even the sexy French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has become known to use it in his recipes – risottos, Absinthe ice cream and marinades and infusions for vegetables as well as fish. Absinthe ice cream -yum!
Additionally, there are quite a few recipes online for Absinthe cookies and Absinthe cupcakes with Absinthe frosting. Absinthe has so many uses!
Absinthe is usually fantastic in cocktails. Ernest Hemingway created a cocktail called “Death in the Afternoon” where he famously mixed Absinthe with champagne, very decadent. The Sazerac is a well-known 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 within the freezer then pour the Absinthe in it, swilling it around to let it coat the interior of the glass.
Put the remaining substances in to a cocktail shaker, shake and pour in the glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and drink.
You must remember, when you’re mixing Absinthe along with other alcoholic drinks, that Absinthe is an extremely strong liquor – as much as 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 just before any meal, apply it in cocktails, marinades, ice cream and cakes. Have fun with the Green Fairy.