Stolen Kiss – David Embury

1 part Sugar Syrup

2 parts Absinthe

6 parts Gin

1 Egg White to each 2 drinks

Shake with cracked or crushed ice

Happy Valentines.

This year I remembered to book the night off work a long time in advance, although not to book a restaurant, and was lucky to get an early booking at C-London (Cipriani). This is one of my favourite restaurants in London, the prices are obscene, and the food very basic, but every mouthful just seems perfectly prepared, and difficult to fault. My favourite dish here is the baked tagliolini with ham, which is sensational. Every time we go we end up having a discussion about sharing dishes, the tagliolini is not to share, so I always order one as a starter, and one to accompany my main. Yes, it really is that good.

I thought I should do a drink with a slight valentine’s theme, and this seemed to be the best option, besides, absinthe in the afternoon is always fun.

Absinthe and I are friends, I think this stems from a love of aniseed wheels from the corner store when I was 5, either way I love drinks with absinthe. It needs to be respected when not used as just a dash, consumed slowly, and never straight. Its consumption without these rules which ends in tears, purely because it’s very strong.

Yes, absinthe was banned, it was banned in countries with a alcohol problem at the time, regardless of what people were drinking (France, Switzerland and the Netherlands), or easily develop drink phobias (USA – a country where they’re more scared of unpasteurized cheese than firearms, oh and hey, prohibition). Absinthe was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and being so strong, was an easy target.

This drink is great as well, probably one of the best absinthe drinks I’ve come across. It was so good I used it in the Valentines Cocktail Class I did on the 15th and people loved it then as well. The egg white makes it light and airy, the gin tones down the absinthe a little, and its just the right amount of sweetness to balance the bitterness of the wormwood.