Hearns – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

Dash of Manhattan Bitters 

One-third Whiskey 

One-third Italian Vermuth 

One-third Absinthe 


Today was a wine tasting day, we have a couple of wines which need replacing and between gathering contestants from suppliers and finding a time at work after which sobriety wasn’t necessary this didn’t happen quite as swiftly as planned.

I find that wine tastings are always best done away from the honeyed sales pitches of wine reps, its their job to make wine taste good as you drink it, and I often find my memories from these meetings are clouded a little when I go back to try them again, so we taste wines blind, next to each other, score and crown the winner.

Today we had a perfectly sized gap before the Spain versus Morocco game came on our giant screen at Goat, roped in some visiting Americans and started tasting. As there were only 12 wines to try I adopted a non-spitting policy which had the effect of making the game a LOT more enjoyable, and dimming my sensibilities when it came it choosing today’s drink, and foolishly ‘One Third Absinthe’ sounded like a good idea instead of the kind of idea which would move me from wine to cocktails to beer to rum to red wine, dominoes at midnight (or later?) and that irritating mild nausea and inability to do anything actually useful at work today.

Thank you absinthe.

I remember the drink as being great, if a little too punchy. Absinthe and bourbon is a match made in heaven, and with Italian it works wonderfully. If anything, I’d drop the absinthe down to a couple of dashes and push up the bourbon so its more like a Manhattan using absinthe as bitters, and I’d stir so you’re not left with that muddy brown stain that comes from shaking dark spirits.