by Dennis Mayer | November 16th, 2012 | Cocktails

Man, it’s been a rough couple of weeks… hurricanes, nor’easter-driven blizzards, floods, and elections. If the apocalypse really is coming, that’s all been a great hors d’oeuvre course.

In honor of surviving all that, here’s a drink I pulled from the Savoy Cocktail Book, that at first glance also seems more likely to be survived than enjoyed. It features an unusual combination of gin, absinthe, and whisky. (Gin and absinthe are often used together, though usually we’d only use a dash or two of the absinthe to flavor a gin drink.) While this sounds like a bad idea, let’s give the folks at the Savoy bar a bit of credit; the drink wouldn’t be in the book if it was god-awful. And we’re always fans of unusual combinations.

Now, the recipe doesn’t specify which kind of whisky, exactly, but spelled without the “E”, whisky is either Scotch or blended (also known as Canadian, and made with a combination of rye, corn and wheat.) Since the smoky, peaty flavor of a Scotch would clash famously with the botanicals in the gin and licorice in the absinthe, we’ll use a blended whiskey, like Canadian Club, Seagrams V.O., or Crown Royal for this recipe. And if you don’t have absinthe on hand, you can use any anise-flavored liqueur — Pernod, Herbsaint, anisette, even Sambuca. As for the gin? Any would suffice, though something too cucumberish would probably be less than ideal. (Something citrusy like New Amsterdam would be superlative, but I wouldn’t go buying a bottle just for this.)

With the right blend of ingredients, this drink ends up more like the Sazerac’s evil twin than a bad idea; instead of a rye-centric cocktail with a hint of anise, we’ve got a nearly unadulterated absinthe flavor with a touch of rye and sour mash. Not nearly as unrefined as the name suggests. (At least, not until the next morning.)


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  1. 1 oz. dry gin
  2. 1 oz. blended whisky
  3. 1 oz. Absinthe
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake thoroughly to combine and chill.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve ungarnished.
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