Absinthe V Absinth

The mystical wormwood - absinthe's controversial treat.

By Edward Washington
Photography by Edward Washington

Cocktails designed and made by the team at the Park Hyatt Sydney

Park Hyatt Hotel, Sydney
7 Hickson Road
The Rocks, Sydney
www.sydney.park.hyatt.com

Absinthe – just the word can turn people away from a drink, running like crazed Parisian artists through the streets to be never seen again. But what are they missing out on? Well a good Sazerac for a start, a wonderfully rich cocktail, an elegant mix of power and finesse. Absinthe or Absinth when used in the right proportions can be a stellar additive to a cocktail, it can be the seasoning that makes it just right, that subtle bite that gives the drink a lick of the devilish and has you coming back for more.

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So for this month’s cocktail experiment Bartender headed down to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Sydney, set on the beautiful foreshore of Sydney Harbour. The venue is closing soon for a massive refurbishment, and we though it was a good chance to catch up with the team before they lock the doors behind them and saying farewell to the iconic Club Bar. Headed by Bars Manager Stuart Reeves, a man who knows a thing or two about the finer facts on spirits, the team was set the task of creating a round of dangerously good absinthe cocktails and what we got is certainly worth a look.

There was a great mix of fresh flavours, potent potables and thirst quenching delights – a sure treat for the lover of a good absinth(e) tipple.

Stuart Reeves


Cocktail name: Absinthe Suissesse

  • 40ml Mythe Absinthe Traditional Recipe 69% abv
  • 15ml orgeat syrup
  • 2 dashes egg white
  • 7.5ml orange blossom sugar syrup
  • 30ml full cream milk

Method:

Dry shake first, shake over white ice cubes into a stemless wine glass. Garnish with orange zest.

What Stuart Says:
“A New Orleans original, the Absinthe Suissesse has often, through the history books, been seen as a breakfast hangover cure. Here the Mythe Absinthe provides a prominent anise flavour, but without the additional herbal characteristics of other absinthes. This is calmed somewhat by the milk and the whites, which give the drink an overall lift and lightness…”

Shane Gardner

Cocktail name: Moulin Passion

  • 30ml Tamborine Mountain Distillery Moulin Roóz Absinthe 60% abv
  • 30ml Ciroc vodka
  • 15ml Elderflower cordial
  • 1 heaped barspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 whole passionfruit
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 4 chunks of fresh lime
  • Top with carbonated fresh apple juice and ginger beer

Method: Muddle fresh lime and elderflower cordial and brown sugar together. Add passionfruit pulp, mint, absinthe and vodka into shaker. Add ice, shake lightly and pour contents into a tall slim glass. Top with homemade carbonated apple and ginger beer. Garnish with half a passionfruit wedge and elderflower flowers on top.

What Shane Says: “To make the carbonated apple and ginger beer, juice 200ml fresh apple juice and combine with 150ml ginger beer in a carbonation gun. Double charge with soda carbonation charges and shake well. Place in freezer to chill quickly, and keep it in the fridge to keep cool.” This combination works a treat with the absinthe – refreshing and a great flavour combination.

Oliver Drummond

Cocktail name: Absintea

  • 30ml Koruna Bohemian Absinth 73% abv
  • 20ml Angostura 1919 Rum 40% abv
  • 15ml Hot water
  • 5 Drops of Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Homemade ‘Chai’ Tea Bag
  • .75 of a bar spoon of sugar
  • 1 large orange zest

Method: Heat Koruna, Angostura 1919 Rum, hot water and Orange Bitters in a metal shaker by placing in hot water bath. Pour ingredients into heat balloon glass. Add sugar and ignite liquid (stand clear!) While it is lit, rotate constantly, adding the orange zest to flame it. Blaze for at least 30 seconds. Once extinguished add ‘Chai’ tea bag and leave to infuse for five minutes.

What Oliver Says: “I got my idea from the flaming absinthe shots I had while in Prague. I wanted to create a blazer cocktail which complimented the flavour of this Czech absinth so I added this homemade ‘Chai’ tea to give it a really nice spicy flavour.”

Alex O’Brien


Cocktail name: Zelená Múza

  • 40 ml Green Fairy Bohemian Czech Absinth 60% abv
  • 20ml Fresh lime
  • 15 ml House made infused gomme (fennel, ginger, lemongrass)
  • 15ml Gin
  • 10ml Ginger liqueur
  • 1 Fennel stalk
  • 1 Pear cheek
  • 3 Barspoons house made pear and juniper puree

Method:

Muddle pear cheek, fennel and lime. Add other ingredients, shake and double strain into a small, elegant wine glass. Garnish with a Mille Fuille pear, sprig of fennel and a green fairy absinth spoon.

What Alex Says: “Green Fairy absinth does not have a strong flavour of anise compared to the French or Swiss absinthes. This made it easier to mix into a cocktail. The drink makes for a light and refreshing cocktail, that has a tasty little kick! Watch out however, this is no Tinkerbelle of a drink!”

Marat Fang


Cocktail name: Perfect Strangers

  • 30 ml Upsynth Original 55% abv
  • 15ml Apple Liqueur
  • 15ml Ginger Liqueur
  • 60ml Aloe Vera juice
  • 5ml Grenadine
  • 15ml Lemon Juice
  • 1 Ginger slice
  • 2 Chunks of green apple

Method:

Muddle apple chunck, ginger slice with lemon juice. Add the other ingredients (except the grenadine). Shake and double strain into a tall glass over fresh cracked ice. Have 5ml grenadine at the bottom of the glass before pouring. Garnish with cheery and a swizzle stick.

What Marat Says:

“This drink is called Perfect Strangers, grenadine on the bottom, cherry on the top – so like strangers.”

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