I recently bought Pernod (absinthe) to add to Tomato & Fennel soup. I love adding an ingredient to recipes that I haven't used before, but hate that moment I realize I now have a rarely-used ingredient hanging around without a purpose. So, what to do with this leftover anise-flavored liqueur? Make cocktails, of course!
Absinthe has a very interesting history and was banned in most of Europe and the U.S. since the early 20th century. It only became legal once again in the U.S. in 2007. You can read more about it in my Tomato & Fennel Soup recipe post. It's pretty fascinating. While looking for a good recipe to use my absinthe, I found a classic absinthe cocktail, "Sazerac," that dates back to the time of absinthe's height of popularity in the 19th century. Did you know that Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans - officially declared in 2008. According to New Orleans Online:
Back in 1838, Antoine Peychaud created the drink in a French Quarter bar and named it for his favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1873, the drink was changed when American Rye whiskey was substituted for cognac, and a dash of absinthe was added by bartender Leon Lamothe, and today he is now regarded as the Father of the Sazerac. In 1912, absinthe was banned, so Peychaud substituted his special bitters in its place.
I don't have a pear tree, and my fig tree yielded a laughable single tiny fig. But, I found a great recipe for a Pear Sazerac that uses pear vodka, so it's a bit of a twist on the original drink. It's a great autumnal cocktail and a great way to incorporate Pernod with seasonal pear flavor. If you're looking for a great food pairing to follow this fine cocktail, try making Tomato & Fennel Soup.
Makes 1 cocktail
1/4 oz. anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
2 oz. pear vodka
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes bitters
1 pear wedge, for garnish
- Place an ice cube in a martini glass and add the anise-flavored liqueur. Swirl to coat the glass and let it stand to chill for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the pear vodka, simple syrup, and bitters, stirring vigorously.
- Empty the ice and liqueur from the glass. Strain the pear vodka mixture into the coated martini glass; garnish with the pear wedge.