murraycovershot.jpg
John Keatley
Stenson leans on the bitters-stained bar at Canon.
In most drinker's heads, the term "julep" is invariably preceded by "mint"--especially at Churchill Downs

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Watch Murray Stenson Make--and Talk About How to Make--an Absinthe Julep (Video)

murraycovershot.jpg
John Keatley
Stenson leans on the bitters-stained bar at Canon.
In most drinker's heads, the term "julep" is invariably preceded by "mint"--especially at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. But Murray Stenson's mind is a little rangier than most. In fact, as this week's cover story chronicles, the legendary bartender's capacity for cocktail recipes is wider than the Sargasso Sea.

Having risen to national prominence at Il Bistro and the Zig Zag, the 62-year-old Stenson, whom Esquire recently named America's Best Bartender, currently works at Canon, a stalwart of Capitol Hill's ever-expanding 12th Avenue corridor. One chilly Sunday last month, when challenged to make a passable cocktail featuring the quasi-psychedelic spirit absinthe, he (very pleasantly) surprised us by whipping up an Absinthe Julep in a frosty tin mug.

Here is John Keatley's video--narrated by Stenson himself--of Stenson preparing this drink, followed by its recipe:

Absinthe Julep by Murray Stenson from John Keatley on Vimeo.Absinthe Julep:

In pint glass muddle 6-8 mint leaves with 1/4 oz. simple syrup

Add 1/3 cup crushed ice

Muddle another 6-8 mint leaves with 1/4 oz. simple syrup

Add 1/3 cup crushed ice

Muddle 6-8 mint leaves without sugar

Top pint glass with crushed ice

Add 1 1/2 oz. Absinthe*

Stir

Top off with crushed ice

Mint sprig as garnish

* Says Stenson, "I really like two local Absinthes: Marteau and Pacifique."

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