The Death in the Afternoon cocktail is a flavor and alcohol bomb, a swashbuckling drink just like its inventor: Ernest Hemingway. Yes, this famous cocktail based on absinthe, lemon juice, Champagne and sugar is an invention of our beloved and always drunken old Ernest. The recipe for the Death in the Afternoon cocktail first appeared in 1935, in the recipe book called So Red the Nose or Breath in the afternoon, in a recipe written by the writer himself. There is no precise dosage, the legendary Hemingway tells us that to make this cocktail you have to “Pour a whole jigger of absinthe into a cup and add chilled Champagne until the cocktail becomes a beautiful opalescent color. Drink 3 or 5 slowly. “Few are the brave who can cope with these doses and these alcoholic needs, so the recipe we provide you with is a reinterpretation of the cocktail, made drinkable even for those who do not want to die young of liver cirrhosis.
The need to make absinthe drinkable and less harmful in Hemingway’s time is understandable, once absinthe was not a safe and clean product as it is today, so more than a cocktail it is a custom, a way to lengthen absinthe and get drunk quickly. Fortunately, we no longer feel this need today, so we will try to make a more elegant cocktail that stimulates the palate and not intoxication. Not to mention that absinthe has an overbearing and tyrannical taste and if you used a jigger you wouldn’t hear anything else. So let’s look for some nuances. Maximum 1 cl of absinthe.
Ingredients and doses to make the Death in the Afternoon cocktail
2 cl of lemon juice
1 cl of absinthe
1 cl of sugar syrup
6 cl of Champagne
How to make the Death in The Afternoon cocktail
Put the absinthe, lemon juice and syrup in the shaker and shake very quickly.
Pour into a chilled glass, add the Champagne and decorate with a petal or a maraschino cherry.
Never use too much absinthe, for some cocktails like Sazerac, just a drop is enough to win the glass. Its aromatic, medicinal and herbaceous taste covers every nuance, so learn how to dose it to tame it.
Never use prosecco or bland sparkling wines with little structure, absinthe needs a playmate that has structure and flavor, otherwise, it is overpowering.
Other great cocktails to try as an aperitif
Negroni, Mojito, Moscow Mule, Gin & Tonic, Dark and Stormy, Daiquiri, Margarita, Spritz, Hugo, Old Fashioned, Manhattan.