Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fathers Day Gift Guide- Absinthe

Father's Day is approaching quickly this month (the 21st for those of you not paying attention), and this year, more than ever, its important to show Dad just how much he means to you.

While I am going to be covering a lot of products in the next few weeks (gin, vodka, rum,tequila, bourbon, scotch etc), I decided to start with a rather unusual spirit, absinthe. While some people do like to enjoy absinthe on its own, I much prefer to use absinthe as an ingredient in cocktails. It plays much the same role as bitters do in a cocktail, it can provide structure and balance if used correctly. Now, absinthes aren't cheap. You aren't going to be able to buy a $20 absinthe, most run in the $60-$90 range, but a little goes a long way.

May I suggest that this year, perhaps more than any other, its time to dig a little deeper for Fathers Day. Its been a rough year and a luxury spirit that Dad can sip and savor will say more to him this year than at any other time. Isn't he worth it? There are some great values out there in the luxury spirits category (Canadian Club 30 and Ardmore 30 both come to mind) and a luxury spirit can provide some comfort and reassurance during these challenging times.

Marteau absinthe ($85) contains both petite and grand wormwood (a true rarity) and is a collaboration between Gwydion Stone and House Spirits. In my opinion, this is the most authentic and well made absinthe made in the United States. It is a great product and one of the few that I recommend for drinking traditionally.

Kubler absinthe ($62)is another of my favorites. Swiss made, this absinthe was scored the best tasting absinthe in a blind tasting of absinthes by the New York Times. A wonderful product, this mixes exceptionally well and is also good on its own.

Trillium absinthe ($60) is a great choice for mixing or sipping. At 50 Plates, Trillium is our house absinthe and gets used in everything from Corpse Reviver #2s to Sazeracs.

Leopold Brothers absinthe ($75) is a delicious absinthe that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to taste while I was in Vail Colorado for the Grand Marnier/Navan Mixology Summit.

Mata Hari absinthe ($50) from Austria bills itself as the "mixable absinthe" and I completely agree. Slightly rough when taken on its own, Mata Hari charms when used in cocktails. That very roughness adds complexity and depth to cocktails, something that I was quite surprised to taste.

Next up is vodka, and I'll have a whole range of spirit recommendations for Fathers Day this year. Just remember, this is the year to really show Dad just how much he means to you and a luxury spirit is the perfect gift this year.


Anonymous said...

Mata Hari is from Austria, not France

Lance J. Mayhew said...

Corrected, thanks. Not sure where my head was right there. Somewhere in Europe though.

Deja said...

Excellent Father's Day gift guide and thanks for the reminder. Time has gotten away and I forgot that Father's Day is right around the corner.

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