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Friday Cocktail: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum cocktail

Looking for a fall-themed cocktail to try? This Friday, sample a Chrysanthemum.

This classic cocktail dates back to an appearance in a recipe book by Hugo Ensslin published in 1916 and was apparently popular among American travelers on European cruise ships during Prohibition. Serious Eats has more details about this and a variation of the drink, the Dandelion.

The Chrysanthemum is a rather unique drink with an herbal flavor well-suited to its name. But the ingredients may not be ones you have on hand. For some time, even after Prohibition ended, absinthe wasn’t available in the United States, and a anise-flavored substitute like Pernod was used. Several recipes also replace the Benedictine with a brandy or cognac. But if you can, it’s always best to try the drink first as originally intended.

What you’ll need:  Dry Vermouth, Benedictine, and Absinthe

In a shaker over cracked ice, pour in 2 ounces of dry vermouth. Add in an ounce of brandy and 1/4 ounce of absinthe.  Stir and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

How I like it:  Like I said, this one took some getting used to. With varied recipes online, it took some time before I stumbled on the one above. However, it’s a bit debatable just how much absinthe is called for. Typically it’s 3 dashes or 1/4 ounce. This might have you asking: how much is actually in a dash? It would essentially be a few drops or about 1/4 of a teaspoon. But for this cocktail, I find the 1/4 ounce better as it’s a more robust use of absinthe and ensures the anise flavor doesn’t get lost in the drink.

Though I can see that this cocktail wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, do give it a try. It might surprise you.

Don’t take a fall, drink responsibly!

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