Drink of the Week: Pastis Plenty, 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar
|User "Chriusha," Wikimedia Commons|
|Nate Selsor of Monarch and TJ Vytlacil of Flamingo Bowl at the "Blood & Sand" Event|
My companion and I dutifully sampled them all. Although each was tasty, for me the standout was the Pastis Plenty mixed by Michelle Bildner of Monarch. Several of the evening's drinks featured absinthe, Pernod-Ricard's namesake spirit, but none so prominently as this one. Absinthe has a dangerous reputation, earned through the bad behavior of its enthusiasts, as demonstrated by Ernest Hemingway: "Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano." (Some have surmised that it was absinthe that caused Vincent van Gogh to do knife tricks as well.) In modern times, the chief danger in mixing absinthe into your cocktails is in overwhelming the drink with its powerful anise flavor.
Indeed, the first sip of Pastis Plenty was like biting down on a black jelly bean. As that first impression faded, the cocktail distinguished itself from more commonplace mixed drinks. Apricot and maraschino liqueurs layered flavor and added complexity, lemon juice and Peychaud's bitters struck sour and bitter notes that balanced out the sweetness, and the presence of egg white gave the whole thing a pleasing viscosity and a frothy cap. This drink was served in a coupe glass -- the saucer-shaped, stemmed glass that champagne was once served in.