An Absinthe Cocktail for the Ages

At Sotto Voce, ritual transforms the once-banned absinthe into a unique cocktail.

Photo by Rachel Adams

The water drip creates a louching effect, so the drink gets nice and cloudy. Originally you had to hold the glass, but the French invented the tower system so they could sit back and relax.” —Howard Doskey, director of “vibe” at Jovanina’s Broken Italian

Traditional Absinthe Service

1 sugar cube (approximately 1 Tbsp.)
1 ½ oz. absinthe
5 oz. distilled water

Fill the absinthe drip tower with half ice and half water. Then place a sugar cube on the absinthe spoon and pour the absinthe over the top into the glass. Light the sugar cube on fire and begin the absinthe drip, putting out the flame and diluting the absinthe with 3 parts water to 1 part absinthe. Stir briefly and serve.

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1 oz. Benchmark bourbon
1 oz. Paul Masson VS brandy
¼ oz. simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
½ oz. abinsthe for the wash

Put ice in a rocks glass and add absinthe. Let sit while building the rest of the drink. Combine all other ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until diluted (about 18 spins). Take rocks glass and dump the ice while you twist your wrist; then spin the glass, ensuring the inside is coated with absinthe. Strain the mixing glass ingredients into the now empty rocks glass. Express a lemon twist and rim for garnish.

Sotto Voce
Downstairs speakeasy at Jovanina’s Broken Italian
1520 Blake St.