Absinthe was made by Dr Pierre Ordinaire in the late eighteenth century as being a medicinal elixir or tonic. The vital herbal component, wormwood (artemisia absinthium) has been used for thousands of years being a digestive tonic and also to energize the appetite. Absinthe should thus be served as an aperitif before a meal, an appetizer served with a bit of hors d’oeuvres and finger food.
Absinthe features a strong anise flavor as well as a slight bitterness so it is best to never serve it with a meal. Nevertheless, Absinthe may be used 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 happens to be great in marinades. Here is a recipe for a scrumptious marinade for chicken or fish.
2 tbsp dried tarragon or a handful of fresh tarragon
2 tbsp dried chervil or perhaps a handful of fresh chervil
1 cup of Absinthe
1 cup of dry white wine
2 tbsp sugar
A dash of salt as well as a grind of pepper
Combine all the ingredients inside a large bowl and leave for a couple of hours, ideally overnight. Marinade chicken or fish in the mixture for a few hours within the fridge and then grill, barbecue or bake to burn off the alcohol.
It’s also possible to make use of Absinthe in stir fries and when basting meats, but ensure that 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 proven to use it in his recipes – risottos, Absinthe ice cream and marinades and infusions for vegetables as well as fish. Absinthe ice cream -yum!
There are also a lot of recipes online for Absinthe cookies and Absinthe cupcakes with Absinthe frosting. Absinthe has a lot of uses!
Absinthe is usually excellent in cocktails. Ernest Hemingway made a cocktail called “Death in the Afternoon” in which he notoriously combined Absinthe with champagne, very self-indulgent. The Sazerac is actually a well-liked 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
Freeze a cocktail glass in the freezer then pour the Absinthe in it, swilling it around to let it coat the inside of the glass.Place the remaining substances in a cocktail shaker, shake and pour in the glass. Garnish having a twist of lemon and drink.
You should know, when you’re mixing Absinthe with many other alcoholic drinks, that Absinthe is a very strong liquor – around 150 proof, 75% alcohol by volume, so don’t get over excited!
So, what food to serve with Absinthe? Serve Absinthe being an aperitif prior to any meal, use it in cocktails, marinades, ice cream and cakes. Have fun with the Green Fairy.