A visit from the Green Fairy
In observance of National Absinthe Day on Tuesday, we decided to play around with the green fairy and try out some classic absinthe cocktails: The Corpse Reviver and The Monkey Gland!A little background about Absinthe:
Absinthe was created in the late eighteenth century by a French doctor as a remedy for a variety of ailments. It’s comprised of wormwood and several other herbs. It has a distinct anisette/licorice taste and It tends to be quite high alcohol (about 50-70%) compared to its counterparts. It has been associated with some hallucinogenic effects. Studies have found this is largely due to the effects of wormwood on the human brain. It causes “CNS cholinergic receptor binding”, meaning it increased cognitive function! This has made it a favorite of poets, writers, and artists in its heyday.
For the Monkey Gland:
1 Dash Absinthe (I used Lucid)
2 oz of Gin (preferably Skeptic, of course!)
1 oz of Orange Juice
1/4 oz of Grenadine
Coat your glass with a dash of absinthe, swirling it to cover the surface, then discard any excess.
Combine Gin, OJ, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into the coated glass and Garnish with an orange segment.
Story of the Monkey Gland: In his 1922 book, Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails, Harry McElhone, credited himself with the invention of the Monkey Gland. He claims that the name was inspired by the 1920's experiments of Serge Voronoff. Long before the time of Viagra and other common male enhancements, Voronoff was experimenting with various implants, most famously being the grafting of monkey testicles or "glands" to human testes.
Why name a cocktail after this? We can't really say for sure... It's curious.
For the Corpse Reviver #2:
1 Dash of Absinthe
1 oz of Gin
1 oz of Lillet Blanc
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz orange liqueur
Much like the Monkey Gland, coat your glass in absinthe and toss the remainder.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and strain into the glass. Notice how the recipe is split into nice easy 1 oz segments for when you're feeling, well, a bit undead.
Garnish with orange peel.
Story of the Corpse Reviver: The corpse reviver is a drink "To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed," so says Harry Craddock in the 1930 "The Savoy Cocktail Book." Corpse reviver cocktails actually constituent and entire class of cocktails. These were meant to "raise the dead" or more accurately the wickedly hungover returning to the bar the following morning for a nice hair of the dog cocktail.
Though there are many reviver cocktail recipes, #1 and #2 remain the only ones still common place today.
If you try these, enjoy your visit with the Green Fairy! However, enjoy within moderation. You can go from zero to Oscar Wilde really fast on this stuff!