Anise is a dark, dangerous, nihilistic flavour. Maybe it’s because I’m used to drinking and seeing other people drink absinthe at the local goth bar, or maybe it’s because absinthe was illegal in the U.S. until 2007 (the year I turned 21), but it does not surprise me that this anise-forward libation has a decidedly bleak name. (I can’t be the only one who feels this way; the combination of absinthe and bubbly is called “death in the afternoon”!)
The obituary cocktail is a martini variant that usually contains a bit of absinthe for flavour. I only say “usually” because I’ve also seen it made with pastis, which is what I made it with today, because it’s what I had. (I originally bought a bottle to mourn the departure our dear former Editor-in-Chief Melissa Kirsch, and have barely dipped into it since.)
It is — like most things featured in this column — very easy to make, but you really need to stir this thing. Without proper chilling and dilution, the obituary reads as overwhelmingly alcoholic, so stir for at least a minute. To make this sullen martini cousin, you will need:
- 60mL gin
- 15mL absinthe or pastis
- 15mL dry vermouth
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass that is absolutely full of cracked ice, then stir for about a minute. Strain into a (preferably chilled) coupe. Garnish with a strip of lemon zest if you need a garnish, and enjoy with a clove if you’re feeling young and moody.