What do you expect when combining the mystical green fairy with the food of the gods?
Complex, strong, offering many layers of sensations, absinthe was outlawed for nearly a century, for a quite obscure reason. Does it causes blindness, deafness, hallucinations or even death?
I just don’t buy it. Toulouse-Lautrec‘s favorite drink (mixed with Cognac), and the drink of choice of a great generation of artists… there must be something else…
I did some research, to find out that century-old bottles are similar to the new one. Wormwood, yes. But then I did searches about other alcohols in the late 19th century. Turns out alcohol production was loosely regulated then, and bootleggers would do alcohol from anything, including wood, which is the cheapest ingredient, but turns deadly once distilled. I blame it on the bootleggers, not on the wormwood.
The modern absinthe is splendid. I discovered it when setting up the Raines Law Room, tried it in many cocktails (Corpse Reviver #2, Sazerac, Ragtime). I needed to put it in a chocolate, I tried many different things, until I got the Early Century:A dairy-free truffle: 2 kinds of Absinthe (Pernod for the sharpness, Vieux Pontarlier for the complexity) slightly diluted in water, a drop of Grand Marnier to soften it, and dry sugar fondant (which is basically powdered sugar that had a 2-hrs massage). In a 70% dark chocolate shell. It’s liquid and half crystallized inside, and it’s vegan.
Then, I wanted to explore more, I ended up with the Fraise Sauvage. Made with fresh organic strawberries cooked up, stirred with some absinthe Pernod, mixed in some butter and white chocolate to make a formidable buttercream. It is pre-coated in dark chocolate, dipped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with bits of organic freeze-dried strawberry. This truffle is available in the Berry Serie.
Now that I had two, I needed a third kind to complete a cycle. That’s when I got special request which would be perfect: a white praline, with dark stripes, and copper glitter with absinthe and orange flower water. Reminiscent of the southern French drink Mauresque and the lovely pastry Tropezienne, I decided to use almond milk for the ganache, and here’s the result: the Midi, which is available upon request in the 6-pieces assortment, and in the 25-pieces assortment.
Note about serving and drinking absinthe:
The main recipe/solution is to dilute 1 part absinthe in 5 parts water.
Some folks add sugar. I find it not necessary. It’s like green tea: it shouldn’t be sweet.
To get a perfect serving, and a beautiful louche, it is important to pour the spirit slowly in the ice cold water, or the opposite. Better than using ice cubes. And don’t, ever, burn it, that would only remove some of the alcohol, and ruin the taste. If you are drinking a quality drink, respect it! There’s nothing like a pure glass of fresh absinthe on a warm afternoon.
So what’s the deal at the Raines Law Room?
Is there a phone number? Nope. I spotted a 212 number somewhere on the internet, but it’s not us! No 646, no 917!
How to make a reservation? You can contact me, but the Raines Law Room only accept reservations for Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. I am there also on Wednesdays so I could arrange something, the rest of the week, you’re on your own! Check out www.raineslawroom.com for complete details.
The menu: fine spirits, champagne, cocktails, handcrafted with art by a team of dedicated bartenders, some nibbles, and your favorite chocolate truffles made weekly in exclusivity!
A password? Between us, just tell the host you want chocolates, or a Gold Rush. No pressure. Raines Law Room is all about comfort. If you’re not let in, it’s just because it’s so small inside, we can only fit that many people. You may have to wait to get in, but once you’re in, you can be sure you will be served with style.
Now I shall tell you the real trick to get in: be patient, be friendly, and if you really don’t want to wait an hour for your table, come two hours in advance. Results guaranteed! Hey, where else you gonna find a good cocktail lounge near the Flatiron or Union Square? Don’t make me say it!
Since you’re at it, why don’t you check out Raines Law Room’s reviews in yelp.com
- Absinthe (makingchocolates.wordpress.com)
- Fraise (makingchocolates.wordpress.com)
- Absinthe: An Update (esquire.com)
- Chocolate Party Tray (makingchocolates.wordpress.com)
- Serie Berry (makingchocolates.wordpress.com)