Third Degree – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

One-eighth French Vermuth 

Seven-eighths Plymouth Gin 

Several dashes Absinthe 


As a phrase this started out in Shakespeare, aptly to refer to a state of a drinker, for ‘he s in the third degree of drinke: hee’s drowned: go look after him’, referring to a time in the evening after a drink or 12. It entered dialect due to the Masonic lodge and the US police force. The masonic lodge reference started as the first two degree’s of membership application are quite mild, the third however involves some form of interrogation and is more ‘physically challenging, from here it appears to have jumped into the vernacular as newspapers started referring to someone who had a rougher than usual interrogation at the hands of the police as having had the third degree, I remember it as a threat from my parents.

I like to think of this drink as being more Shakespearian on origin, drinking this was a pleasure not a hardship, and several of these and you would definitely need looking after, and when I say several, based on Dorothy Parkers wise words, 4 and I’m drowned.

The drink itself is a very dry Martini delight and well worth a try, absinthe makes the world a better place, in respectful quantities, just like Martini’s.