Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Absinthe & Maple Syrup* Challenge

How it Started
My husband Derek and I are fairly competitive with each other sometimes, usually where we are fairly evenly matched. Some examples include tennis, air hockey, darts and Golden Tee. And sometimes we challenge each other in the kitchen, to see if we can come up with something decent from weird ingredients.

On Sunday night, two things were co-existing on the kitchen counter - we had pancakes for breakfast, and I had brought home some of our Sirène Absinthe Verte for my cocktail development projects this week. So of course Derek challenged me to make a drink with both of them.

Now as I mentioned over on the Spirit World awhile back, I don't put real maple syrup on my pancakes - I was raised on Log Cabin "maple-tasting syrup." So I was supposed to mix maple-flavored corn syrup and absinthe.

Can't Back Down Now
Of course I couldn't back down or I'd never hear the end of it, so I poured a few ounces of absinthe into my mixing glass. And then some maple-tasting syrup. Stir, then taste. Yuck. "Get me a lemon," I uttered, hoping it would help.

In went the juice of one lemon, some Distiller's Gin No. 11, and a splash of Cointreau. Another stir and taste. Better, much better. A tad more Cointreau, and then it was tolerable, even. You could still taste the maple, but only a tiny hint on the finish. The absinthe dominates, as one would expect, but the citrus and gin spices complement it nicely.

Not sure it's a recipe worth repeating here (and I don't know the exact proportions), but I successfully completed the challenge. Sonja:1, Derek:0. Now to think up some ingredients for him to try and mix with...

Note: pic at right is from istockphoto.com. I didn't take a picture, so went for one that looked very similar. Mine was very green indeed, and a bit cloudier from the citrus.

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