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New Orleans Cocktails and Classic Drinks
 

The Absinthe Frappe

The Absinthe Frappe
The Absinthe Frappe

Absinthe first came to New Orleans by way of Europe in the early 1800s. This potent, licorice-flavored liqueur had become especially popular with writers, artists and musicians, but it found an even stronger fan-base in the early "coffeehouses" or bars in the French Quarter. While absinthe was used in the original mixture of the Sazerac, believed to be the first cocktail ever made, it was also commonly drank in the "Absinthe Frappe," a mixture of Absinthe, Anisette, and soda water. The drink was first concocted at the Old Absinthe House bar in 1874 by Cayetano Ferrer, and was served to famous customers such as Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and General Robert E. Lee, just to name a few.

Celebrities, locals and tourists have since sipped on the Absinthe Frappe. Absinthe was outlawed in the United States in 1912 when it was found that its primary ingredient, wormwood extract, caused hallucinations, delirium, madness, and death. The ingrediants of the cocktail were slightly altered subtituting absinthe for other anise liqueurs such as Pernod and Herbsaint, which capture the distinct taste of absinthe without the unpleasant, narcotic side effects. In 2007 the first genuine absinthe was approved for importation into the United States since the ban prompting other companies to once again begin producing batches of high-quality absinthe. Try the drink out in its original setting, and should you find yourself under the drink's spell, you can try out this recipe at home.

Absinthe Frappe Recipe

  • 1 1/2 oz. absinthe
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. soda water
  • 6–8 mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
 
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