Monday, January 7, 2013

battle of new orleans

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Four Roses)
2 dash Absinthe (1/4 oz Kübler)
1 dash Anisette (1 barspoon Raki)
3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top.

Friday two weeks ago, I decided to pick another cocktail off of the new version of the Anvil's 100 Drink List. The one that called out to me was the Battle of New Orleans. For an early recipe source, I looked to the web, and a search brought me to a post Paul Clarke wrote that mentioned Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion where I had seen it before. I had viewed the drink as a Bourbon Sazerac of sorts with some additional flavors from the anisette and orange bitters and had previously skipped over it; however, Paul warned, "If you sip one of these, hoping for a Sazerac experience, you'll be disappointed. Just savor it on its own, for what it is, though, and you'll find it a pretty agreeable companion." Indeed, while many absinthes have anise notes in their herbal complexity, the anisette brings this to another level with a more singular addition to the flavor balance.
battle of new orleans bourbon cocktail
The combination of the absinthe and Raki's louching donated a hazy glow to the Peychaud's red-hued drink. On the nose, the lemon oil melded well with the anise aromas. Next, a malty sip led into the rest of the Bourbon flavors on the swallow along with anise and other herbal elements from the absinthe and bitters on the finish. The Bourbon itself made this a mellow Sazerac of sorts -- it lacked the sharpness of a rye one but certainly not the smoothness of a Cognac one. I am still unsure whether the drink would have been better by halving the Raki (perhaps more potent than anisette proper), but it did give a different herbal tonality to the drink than just absinthe alone.

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