Warning.. picture intensive, but you already knew that.
My first foodie event! Well…sort of. No one knows who I am, but I think after tonight they will..thanks to my loud and drunk friends.
Anyways. Here’s the blurb that was on Urbandiner, so you can get some background information on what this is about.
MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE HOSTS ABSINTH TASTING ON MARCH 27
VANCOUVER, BC – On Friday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m. Morton’s The Steakhouse in Vancouver is hosting “Absinth, The Green Hour.” The event gives guests a chance to experience the mystique, allure and ritual of tasting Hill’s Absinth, a high proof distilled spirit made from grande wormwood and a blend of aromatic herb extracts. Priced at $40 per person including hors d’oeurves, tax and gratuity, the event in Morton’s private boardroom will feature three Hill’s Absinth cocktails and Hill’s Absinth served in the traditional ritual.
Morton’s guests will also enjoy Oysters Rockefeller made with Absinth, Crab-stuffed mushrooms, Sliced Tenderloin on Crostini and Morton’s famed Miniature Prime Cheeseburgers. A Hill’s Absinth expert will guide guests through this unique tasting event and each guest will receive a complementary gift.
For more information on Hills Absinth, visit www.hillsabsinth.com.
Absinth gained notoriety in the 19th century as great artists, poets and writers and patrons of Paris cafes popularized the pleasures of Absinth. Controversy about the effects of Absinth led to it being banned in France, the United States and other countries in the early 1900’s. In 2007, the U.S. followed other nations by easing restrictions on distilling and selling Absinth, which was often called the “Green Fairy” at the height of its popularity due in part to its characteristic green color.
Pretty excited to be trying this controversial and infamous drink, we met up together and bussed downtown. Safety first, don’t drink and drive.
Made it to Morton’s just after 6pm, and we were only the second party in the room. I could already smell that there was a slight licorice or minty smell in the room. This is because the drinks were already prepared.
“It’s green, just like in the movies!” was the first thought that came to my mind.
This is the first drink of the night. Just a simple Hill’s Absinth served in the traditional ritual.
This involves dripping ice water very slowly over a sugar cube that is placed on a slotted spoon over a glass of Absinth. The water then passes through the spoon slots into the drink resulting in a green and flavorful drink. This results in the Absinth becoming cloudy, or louche. Also, one can control how strong the drink is by adding more or less water. Keep in mind that Absinth has an alcohol content of 70%, so you really would be quite brave to drink it with no dilution. Justin likened it to drinking rubbing alcohol.
Close up of the sugar and slotted spoon.
How does it taste? Here’s a picture that’s pretty accurate of what I felt like after my first sip. If you don’t like the taste or smell of licorice or anise, you probably won’t like this drink. It’s VERY strong. The drinks in our hands is actually the first of three cocktails, but you get the idea. I didn’t drink much of the second cause it was just too strong.
Of course it wouldn’t be very smart to drink without any food. The first hors d’oeurve of the night was the Oysters Rockefeller made with Absinth. I didn’t know that till I read it just now. At first I thought it was like Oyster Motoykai..heh. Also, I wondered why it tasted kind of bitter, thinking it was just the spinach, but I’m now pretty sure it’s beacuse it was made with the Absinth. The oysters are meant to accompany the Absinth.
The second hors d’oeurve, Sliced Tenderloin on Crostini. Underneath the steak is a little bit of horseradish. Not overly spicy, this was good. I didn’t like how the crostini was not crunchy though. This came to accompany the second cocktail, which you can see three pictures up. I didn’t really like it, so I avoided it.
It’s called the Sazerac. I looked it up and I found that Mortons in Arizona also had an Absinth tasting recently!
2oz RI Whiskey
4 Drops of Bitters
Garnish: Lemon Twist
Glassware: Large rocks glass
Instructions: Pour a ¼ ounce of Absinthe into empty Large Rocks glass and
rinse, pouring out any extra that does not coat the glass. Put Sugar Cube
with 4 drops of bitters in the bottom of a Boston Shaker and crush with a
Bar spoon. Add 2 ounces of Whiskey and a ½ a cup of ice and stir 20 times. Do
not shake. Strain liquid into Absinthe Rinsed RX glass. Twist lemon twist
into drink from above and then drop into drink. Serve.
The awesome bartender that was mixing drinks for us all night. Can’t believe he’s never watched Moulin Rouge or EuroTrip though.
Halftime, so it was time for a little history about Absinth and its creation. He also answered questions, one of which I was particularly curious about. In the movies, absinth is said to make one hallucinate and see things. This is an exaggeration. While the alcohol mellows you out, there is a component in wormwood that seems to heighten the senses, which may have mistaken by some to be hallucinations. It may gives a unique feeling, but everyone will react differently to it.
This is the the owner of Hill’s Absinth. Can you believe HE has watched both Moulin Rouge and EuroTrip? He came to talk to us a little while after, and he was pretty cool.
Here you can see the third cocktail. It was a very fruity light drink called the Monkey Gland cocktail.
2oz Beefeater Gin
1oz Orange Juice
Garnish: Orange Twist
Glassware: Martini Glass
Instructions: Pour all ingredients into a Boston Shaker. Add ice and shake
15 times. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.
The taste of Absinth is barely noticeable in this, so it was my favorite of the night. I really don’t like the taste of licorice. Beside it is my second drink, which I didn’t touch. With this drink came the third hors d’oeurve, the Crab-stuffed mushrooms but I didn’t get a good picture of it and there weren’t anymore coming out. Oh well.
Morton’s famed Miniature Prime Cheeseburgers. So tiny, but so full of flavour. The little meat patties were so juicy….it’s unbelievable. I only got one, some other people got TWO…lucky.
See what I mean? So good I didn’t even wait for them to start eating.
Time for the last cocktail of the night.
1oz Absolut Vodka
1oz Raspberry Puree
4oz Freixenet Sparkling Wine
Garnish: 1 Raspberry
Glassware: Champagne Flute
Instructions: Pour 1 ounce of Absolut into a champagne flute then a ¼ ounce
of Absinthe and Raspberry puree. Top with Freixenet until it reached the
top of the glass. Stir twice gently with bar spoon to incorporate
ingredients. Drop 1 Raspberry into bottom of flute and serve.
Then comes Raspberry Pulp.
Finally finished off with Sparkling Wine and a fresh raspberry. For me, this is very close to being my favorite, but you can still get a strong licorice aftertaste with this one, so it lost out to the third one.
So with all four drinks and hor d’oeurves out, people slowly started to leave. We were the last to leave, since we had become a .. bit sociable and friendly. Every guest also got a giftbag, each containing one slotted spoon, a little pamphlet about Hill’s Absinth, a card for a free complimentary appetizer at Morton’s, and some mints and toffees. Oh and a bottle of water. Thanks, that came in handy later.
Overall, the experience was great. The chance to try Absinth properly and to be educated is something I will remember. It is also definitely not something that happens often, and the amazing food and top-notch service for the $40 price tag was definitely within reach for students such as myself and my friends. Thank you to Morton’s and Hills Absinth for putting on a great tasting event.
One last note, to those who heard about my blog from tonight because of my friends shameless advertising and rather loud talking, thanks for visiting. It means a lot.