Suisse Cocktail

Suisse Cocktail
The White of 1 Egg. (1/2 oz Egg White)
4 Dashes Anisette. (1/4 oz Anis del Mono Dulce)
1 Liqueur Glass Absinthe. (1 1/2 oz Greenway Distiller’s Absinthe)
Syrup or Sugar can be used instead of Anisette.
Shake well and strain into medium size glass. (Add a dash of Blanquette de Limoux, Cuvee Berlene 2005 on top.)

When you examine Harry MacElhone’s recipe for the “Swisess” from “Barflies and Cocktails” you see that, perhaps, Mr. Craddock missed something.

Swisess. 1 white of a Fresh Egg; 1 teapoonful of Anisette Syrup; 1 glass of Absinthe. Shake well together and strain into a small wineglass, and add a dash of syphon on top. This is a very good bracer for that feeling of the morning after the night before.

Ah, a dash of syphon! Hmmm… Wait, I think the soda water is a little tired, but I still have some fairly fresh Blanquette de Limoux. No, I couldn’t, that would be just too evil. Oh yes, yes I can.

Well, plus, I did have to include Harry MacElhone’s quote, as it is one of my all time favorite turns of phrase describing a hangover.

Still don’t have appropriate fizz glasses, so sad. This souvenir beer glass from Jesse Friedman’s Notoberfest 2009 is actually not all that bad. About the right size, and not a horrible shape for a fizz. Probably the best I have at the moment.

Is the cocktail any good?  Well, if you like Death in the Afternoon, this is a richer, anisier drink.  I enjoyed it, especially with the delicious complexity of the Germain-Robin/Greenway Distillers Absinthe Superior.  Quite nice.

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.

4 thoughts on “Suisse Cocktail

  1. I always wondered about this drink and the flavor profile of absinthe vs. annisette. It seems for most absinthes on the market anise is a dominant flavor in the drink; thus anissette wouldn’t do anything for it. Do you know if absinthes at the time were different?

    I see you’ve used the wondrous Germain-Robin absinthe which is quite different than most everything else on the market so that’s an outlier compared with most of today’s absinthe.

    • This is an old cocktail, turn of the century-ish. Shows up in the 1908 Boothby.

      I have to admit I’m a bit confused about Swiss/Suisse/Suissesse/Swisess, whether they are the same cocktail or if Suisse and Suissesse are different.

      Likewise, there’s no real consensus on sweetener. Boothby suggests Orgeat, others suggest gum syrup, Craddock calls for anisette, and McElhone Anisette Syrup.

      I have no real reason to suspect that 19th or early 20th Century Absinthe was much different than most modern (traditional style) Absinthe. However, by the time the “Savoy Cocktail Book” and “Barflies and Cocktails” were published, bartenders would probably have been mixing with Pernod or Ricard, due to the various national bans on Absinthe.

      • My impression, and this could be completely false, was that Pernod and Ricard contained a fair amount of sugar, whereas absinthe did not. (Did people still do the sugar cube absinthe ritual with pastis? That would signify that it wasn’t sweetened all that much.) Adding an annissette to a pre-sweetened Pernod seems even weirder than adding it as a sugar to absinthe.

        • As far as I know, post-ban Pernod and Ricard have always been sweetened. Whether it was sweetened to the same extent it is today, I do not know.

          No, I don’t think anyone continued the sugar cube ritual with post-ban products. I believe they just added ice water.

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