How to Make an Absinthe Suissesse, the Perfect Brunch Cocktail
I've been on an absinthe kick at work lately. I've been trying to get my coworkers on the bandwagon, but they keep wrinkling their nose at the black licorice aroma that I find so alluring. All the more absinthe for me, I suppose.
For most people, absinthe is easier to handle if it's mixed into a cocktail. It's almost the time of year that breakfast can become a festive brunch simply by adding a patio and a cocktail. To find great brunch drinks, all one has to do is turn to one of the world capitals of brunch, New Orleans.
The brunch tradition in New Orleans is strong, with all manner of indulgent dishes served, and equally indulgent cocktails to match. One of my favorites of the New Orleans brunch cocktails is a little number called Absinthe Suissesse.
The history of Absinthe Suissesse is a little funny, in that I can't turn up a lick of any detailed information about it. We know it was invented somewhere in New Orleans, but that's as far as the trail goes. It might have been invented before the United States banned absinthe in 1912. I'd bet that it was created some time after the end of Prohibition.
After absinthe was banned in most of the civilized world, a new style of liqueur called pastis cropped up. The flavor is similar to absinthe, but without the grande wormwood (Latin name artemisia absinthium) that gives absinthe its name. It's also lower in proof, usually 80 or 90 proof to absinthe's 120 proof minimum.