Absinthe was created by Dr Pierre Ordinaire while in the late 18th century being a medicinal elixir or tonic. The vital herbal component, wormwood (artemisia absinthium) has been used for thousands of years as a digestive tonic and to stimulate the appetite. Absinthe should hence 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 therefore it is best to never serve it with a meal. However, Absinthe can be utilized in cooking, much like wine. When cooking, the alcohol will be shed and you will be left with the anise or licorice taste that is great in marinades. Here’s 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 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
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and then leave for a few hours, if possible overnight. Marinade chicken or fish within the mixture for a couple of hours inside the fridge and then grill, barbecue or bake to burn off the alcohol.
You can also work with Absinthe in stir fries and when basting meats, but make certain you always combine 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 utilize it in his recipes – risottos, Absinthe ice cream and marinades and infusions for vegetables and also fish. Absinthe ice cream -yum!
Additionally, there are a lot of recipes online for Absinthe cookies and also Absinthe cupcakes with Absinthe frosting. Absinthe has a great number of uses!
Absinthe is also excellent in cocktails. Ernest Hemingway made a cocktail known as “Death in the Afternoon” where he notoriously blended Absinthe with champagne, very self-indulgent. The Sazerac is a well-known Absinthe cocktail typically 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 inside the freezer then pour the Absinthe into it, swilling it around to let it coat the interior of the glass.Place the remaining substances in to a cocktail shaker, shake and pour to the glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and drink.
You need to know, when you are mixing Absinthe with other alcoholic drinks, that Absinthe is certainly a strong liquor – as much as 150 proof, 75% alcohol by volume, so don’t get over excited!
So, what food to serve with Absinthe? Serve Absinthe as an aperitif prior to any meal, use it in cocktails, marinades, ice cream and cakes. Enjoy the Green Fairy.