Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
4 Easy New Ways to Make an Absinthe Frappe

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Absinthe certainly isn’t the first spirit that comes to mind when you think of brunch, but it became a morningtime favorite when the Absinthe Frappé was introduced at NOLA’s Old Absinthe House in 1874. A mix of the green fairy, simple syrup, soda water and fresh mint, the refreshing libation is a softer take on the Absinthe Drip.

But for some, even that tame concoction can be too much to handle, with its potent hit of high-proof alcohol and deeply bitter, herbal notes. And to those who fear the fairy, even when laced with mint, we say, “Hold on, we got you.”

Because we love the Absinthe Frappé and want you to love it too, we found four bartenders from New York and California who are making versions of the drink that can be sipped with ease—in fact, all of these drinks are downright chuggable. Incorporating things like brandy, aquavit, aromatized wine and citrus, their versions stay true to the cocktail’s original spirit, while giving it extra oomph and ridiculous drinkability. All of these cocktails are not only delicious, but also a great way to introduce cocktail hour guests to absinthe without scaring them off.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
“At Maison Premiere, we love the classic Absinthe Frappé in style and recipe, but we wanted to soften it slightly and make it a bit more accessible to people who don’t want straight absinthe,” says bar director Will Elliott. “We added aquavit, a Scandinavian caraway-flavored spirit, because many absinthes contain caraway or similar herbs.” The creamy almond-based orgeat adds a touch of sweetness, and it also mimics the cloudy louche effect that happens when you add water to absinthe. Tangy grapefruit juice rounds out the drink’s flavor and ties the ingredients together.

The Essentials

Aquavit
Orgeat
Absinthe
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This fruity take on the absinthe classic from Vacation bar director Gaby Mlynarczyk is mixed with raspberry eau de vie, nutty orgeat and aquafaba—aka chickpea water—for a luxuriously viscous (and egg-free) texture. A splash of Lacroix Berry seltzer gives the drink a light, effervescent finish.

The Essentials

raspberry eau de vie
Orgeat
Absinthe
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Steven Gonzalez, senior bartender at Park Hyatt New York’s Living Room, created an equal-parts take on the Frappé that even skeptics will enjoy. “Absinthe is not an easy ingredient to use because of its particular flavor,” he says. “I decided to pair it with two cordials and a citrus juice to make an enjoyable and refreshing libation. The way its herbal and sour notes come together is pleasing to the palate.” This fresh drink makes a perfect aperitif anytime of year, but it also works as a digestif after a big meal if you’re craving a lighter post-dinner cocktail.

The Essentials

Absinthe
Cocchi Americano
Dolin Genepy des Alpes
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
“Not only is this a more interesting take on the Absinthe Frappé, it’s also more accessible palate-wise,” says Aaron Polsky, bar manager of Los Angeles’ Harvard & Stone. His version adds caraway-tinged aquavit for deep spice notes and Giffard Apricot Brandy, which gives the drink a lip-smacking, caramelized sweetness. Lime juice brightens the mix for a crowd-pleasing cocktail that would make for an excellent first sip at your next dinner party.

The Essentials

Absinthe
Lime Juice
Apricot Brandy

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