1/2 Dry Gin. (Generous 1 oz Beefeater’s Gin)
1/4 French Vermouth. (Generous 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/4 Absinthe. (Generous 1/2 oz Marteau Verte Classique)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
As someone who is, well, “Middle Aged,” I am fascinated by people who re-invent themselves and their careers “later” in life.
Instead of accepting the status quo and “keep on, keepin’ on”, they find a new enthusiasm, or one that has been with them all along, and turn what was a passion into a business plan.
“Foodie” Steve Sando turned a passion for good ingredients into Racho Gordo. Eric Seed (though, he’s a bit younger than the rest of us!) left a career in banking and business to launch Haus Alpenz.
Gwydion Stone is another.
Last year he launched his first commercial product, Marteau Verte Classique, an Absinthe based on tradition recipes and made in accordance with recipes from the 19th Century. It is currently distilled in Switzerland by the Matter-Luginbühl Distillery who also manufacture the Duplais Absinthes among others. Some time this year, he is hoping to launch an Absinthe produced in the US.
The interesting thing about the Verte Classique, is that has been specifically designed to be cocktail friendly.
Which brings us back to the “Dixie Cocktail.”
Because they can use some of the same botanicals, the combination of Absinthe and Gin is always interesting. Depending on the Gin, sometimes interesting is good and sometimes interesting is bad.
I tried the Marteau on its own, diluted with water, as is traditional. It is a very well balanced Absinthe, with the wormwood flavors in harmony with the other botanicals and the anise more reserved than many other modern style Absinthes.
In the Dixie Cocktail, it was interesting, in that it seemed like the Wormwood was out front in the scent of the cocktail and the other botanicals more expressed in the flavor or later taste sensations. The licorice of the Beefeaters, (a proven Absinthe friendly Gin,) is particularly prominent the flavor. This isn’t a cocktail for those who aren’t sure if they like Absinthe or Anise.
Sources indicate this cocktail, like the Aviation, came from Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”. I also note a striking similarity to the “Obituary Cocktail” as served at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans.
But, if you enjoy Anise and her friends, raise a Dixie Cocktail in honor of second chances rather than Obituaries.
This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.