Death in the Afternoon

It’s unclear whether this drink was invented by Ernest Hemingway or just popularized by him, but it’s strong and dangerously simple to prepare. Absinthe usually has an alcohol content around 60-70% ABV, so true to its name, this cocktail is best enjoyed on a weekend afternoon when you have no pressing obligations.

1 part absinthe

3 parts chilled champagne or other sparkling white wine

Pour the absinthe and the champagne directly into a champagne flute or coupe. Serve immediately.

There’s a bit of debate as to the order that the ingredients should be mixed. Absinthe-first results in a more homogeneously mixed drink, but mixing champagne-first is said to add spectacle as the green absinthe filters slowly down through the bubbles. Of course the choice is yours, and I suggest ample experimentation.

Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon


4 thoughts on “Death in the Afternoon

  1. Matt & Shanna says:

    You’ve got a deal. I’m doing a fair amount of research on absinthe right now and I’m thinking that a full week of absinthe content will be coming first thing in the New Year, after we get all these holiday shenanigans out of the way.

  2. The cocktail book ‘So Red the Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon’ verifies that the drink was invented by Hemingway and “three officers of the H.M.S. Danae after having spent seven hours overboard trying to get Capt. Bra Saunders’ fishing boat off a bank where she had gone with us in a N.W. gale.” So it was effectively intended as a sea sickness cure!

    Looking forward to your forthcoming absinthe season!

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