Absinthe, also known as “The Green Fairy”, is an anise-flavored spirit based on numerous herbs and flowers, including wormwood. The green liquor tends to be very strong-tasting, as well as distilled to a very high proof (typically 45%-75% ABV). There are various styles of absinthe, from Parisian to Blanche to Bohemian, each with a different flavor profile and history.
Mata Hari Absinthe is a Bohemian absinthe, which is made with lower levels of aniseed than Parisian or Blanche absinthes. This gives the absinthe much less of a licorice flavor and allows the other herbal notes to figure more prominently into the palate. Many people refer to Bohemian absinthes as “Wormwood Bitters”, and they are considered better-suited as cocktail ingredients than they are for solitary consumption. The Austrian-produced Mata Hari markets its product as a “mixing absinthe.”
As far as mixing, I think it’s much easier to think of Mata Hari as an herbal liqueur that happens to be made from wormwood than thinking of it as an absinthe. I wasn’t sure at first what I was going to do with it in a rum drink, and – despite my continued objections that I am not a Tiki Blogger, but a Rum Blogger – went for the Tiki-style for one of my evening’s submissions.
1 oz Mata Hari Absinthe
1 oz White Rum
.5 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
.5 oz J. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
.25 oz Lemonhart 151 Overproof Demerara Rum
1 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Orgeat
1 tsp Simple Syrup
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a finely-crafted Tiki mug filled with crushed ice.
You may notice that the recipe here is a tad different from what was originally posted in the TDN Wrap-Up. That’s partly because I tweaked the recipe a few times over the course of the evening, at one point deciding that a float of the Lemonhart 151 was necessary. After some further testing though, I decided that the 151 should be shaken in the drink instead. Trust me, it’s better.
The Professor has a nice light feel to it, while providing a nice rich taste at the back as the herbal and citrus flavors give way to the depth of the blackstrap and demerara rums. I greatly enjoyed the drink, although researching it did require drinking a few, which can be dangerous as this drink packs quite a wallop.
Be sure to check out upcoming TDN’s at the Mixoloseum. Every week over 30 bartenders, bloggers, and cocktail enthusiasts log in to chat and mix up new and interesting drinks to compete for whatever random prize Gabe and Rick have decided we’re giving away that week. Make some drinks, make some friends, have a lot fun.