Written by Chris Benjamin. Benjamin, director of food and beverage at the Essex Resort and Spa

The Super Bowl. Besides the Yankees winning the World Series, this has to be my single-favorite sporting event to watch. With the halftime show and the commercials (to say nothing about the game itself), it’s getting impossible to find the right time to use the bathroom or get a drink.

Of course, as your resident expert on liquor, I know you’re expecting me to provide you with a very fair and detailed account of alcohols and cocktails that fans from both teams can create to show their true spirit (pun intended). And seeing how my St. Louis Rams are nowhere near the big game (go ahead and laugh, but they’ll be back some day), I had to do a little research for this one.

Sorry Indianapolis fans, there’s simply not much out there to talk about regarding liquors from your city, so I offer a cocktail that will show off your teams colors (see ’Dreamy Blues’, below).

New Orleans, on the other hand, home of Bourbon Street and some of the rowdiest folks in the States (if not the planet), has plenty of stories, and they lead me to a subject I’ve been wanting to write about for a while: absinthe.

Also called “The Green Fairy” for its unusual green color, absinthe (from the Latin for wormwood, the key ingredient) is known as the drink of poets, writers, and many cultural “bad boys.” Since wormwood is supposedly responsible for creating hallucinations and psychotic episodes, this herbal and potent spirit was popular during the Bohemian era of writers and artists. Outlawed in most of Europe and the United States in the early 20th century, absinthe has made a serious comeback, and it is now legal again.

New Orleans is the home of the absinthe cocktail The Sazerac. First created in the early 1800s by Antoine Peychaud, and named for his favorite brandy, it’s a New Orleans classic. The recipe was altered slightly when American rye whiskey and bourbon became a hit, and then again in 1912 when absinthe was outlawed. To substitute for the absinthe, bartender Leon Lanmoth added a few dashes of Peychaud’s specially-designed bitters.

So, here’s to you, you Saints’ fans. Enjoy the Sazerac. Colts’ fans? Sorry I couldn’t come up with more, ut let’s face it– Manning is going to have a lot more chances to get more rings, so I have some time. Enjoy the Dreamy Blues (It looks cool and tastes even better). A word of warning, though—it takes a few tries to perfect this drink, so don’t get discouraged.

Best of luck to both teams. Enjoy!

Dreamy Blues
¾ oz. chilled white creme de cacao
1 ¼ oz. chilled blue curacao

Add the white crème de cacao to a cocktail glass. Then slowly and gently add the blue curacao, pouring it over the back of a spoon. (This is called layering.)

The Sazerac
3 or 4 dashes absinthe
2 oz. bourbon or american rye whiskey
3 or 4 dashes bitters
Twist of lemon
Sugar cube (optional)
3 or 4 ounces club soda

Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice, or serve neat.

Advertisements