The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 101 of 126

july 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  99 Damian Windsor, Bartender at the Roger Room in Los Angeles, CA "My cocktail is little bit of both nou- veau and classique. It has the bones of a classique and the refinement of a nouveau." Nouvelle Suissesse w 1 oz. Lucid Absinthe Supérieure w ½ oz. Tempus Fugit Crème de Menthe w ½ oz. Meletti Anisette w ¾ oz. lime juice w ½ oz. simple syrup w 1 oz. egg white w 1 oz. heavy cream w 6 mint leaves Add all ingredients and ice to shaker and whip until frothy; strain. Serve with a cube or two to keep cold; garnish with mint sprig and dust with licorice powder. Today, Lucid is produced in France's Loire Valley with equipment made in the 1880s, from a base of 96% ABV sugar beet spirit, the cleanest commercial spirit obtainable in France. Botanicals are soaked in the spirit in a 130-year-old copper still and then distilled. More botanicals are added through a classic process that cre- ates color and further enhances its distinct flavor. Breaux adds, "I wasn't going to put my name on a product that had food coloring or chemicals in it. Everything is handmade." At an SRP of $59.95, Lucid is at a lower cost point than many other French absinthes but made with the same dedication, making it ideal for cocktail enthusiasts in the U.S. Absinthe has always been a popular ingredient in classic cocktails, and with the ongoing resurgence of classic cocktails in American bars and restaurants, it made sense that Lucid would focus on educat- ing bartenders through seminars and cocktail competitions. Recently, the brand sponsored the Lucid Absinthe Cocktail Classique competition, with Breaux, Absinthe Portfolio Master Milo Rodriguez and The Tasting Panel's Associate Publisher Rachel Burkons as judges. "What many people don't know is that in Anglo-American culture, absinthe was essential in many classic cocktails. One of the great bartending books, The Savoy Cocktail Book from 1930, contains more than 100 absinthe cocktails," explains Breaux. In the competition, bartenders were allowed to pick either the Classique or Nouveau category, and create a cocktail using Lucid Absinthe. Fifteen competitors faced off bracket-style for their chance to compete for the title of Classique Champion. It was a tough competition, and the judges had a long debate before declar- ing Kalani Ben of Sassafras Saloon the winner, with his nouveau cocktail Vivid Sensations. Damian Windsor of the Roger Room's classic cocktail Nouvelle Suissesse was a very close second. Winning a competition is always a testament to one's skill as a bartender, but this absinthe competition holds even more weight. As Breaux says: "A cocktail competition using gin is easy, but absinthe is a very specific and powerful flavor. It takes good understanding and skill to mix it well. If you know how to mix with it, you can make really good cocktails." Kalani Ben, Assistant General Manager of Sassafras Saloon in Los Angeles, CA "For me, the best part of working with Lucid Absinthe is how versatile it is when working with a barrage of spirits. Light in body—enough to be a base—but also bold enough in flavor to stand up as a modifier." h W I NN E R h 2 N D P L A C E Vivid Sensations w ½ oz. Lucid Absinthe Supérieure w 2 oz. Singani 63 w 1 oz. lime w ½ oz. salted chili-pineapple gomme w 2 dashes Miracle Mile Bergamot Bitters Add all ingredients to shaker with a small amount of crushed ice. Give it a quick hard (whip) shake and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple leaves and amarena or Maraschino cherries.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - July 2016