Monday, 21 November 2011

Periquation Cocktail by Ales Olasz of Montgomery Place

This is not the first time Ales has featured on these pages and I'm pretty certain it won't be the last! While we always talk endlessly about Absinthe, on this occasion (back in the summer) Ales came up with a real gem of a twisted Aviation with SW4 London Dry Gin and Jade Perique Tobacco Liqueur - I'd always thought of 'brown' spirits going well with Perique but here was something rather deliciously different...

Periquation by Ales Olasz of Montgomery Place (

50ml SW4 London Dry Gin
15ml Jade Perique Tobacco Liqueur
10ml Maraschino
20ml Lemon Juice

Shake all the ingredients over ice and serve in a coupette. Garnish with a cherry dropped into the bottom of the glass.

So simple yet extremely effective. SW4 (Gin of Champions) is a very smooth, complex and well rounded Gin which means it is a great base for any cocktail! (

Jade Perique Tobacco Liqueur has proved to be a great hit with bar tenders, it tastes great and helps preserve an age old tradition of growing the very rare Perique tobacco. Jade's Perique also offers a safe alternative to homemade tobacco infusions and macerations which can be highly toxic. (ingesting nicotine is potentially as poisonous as arsenic and cyanide) I recently did a Perique tasting in Gerry's and on two separate occasions people refused to taste on the grounds they were made ill by 'tobacco cocktails'. All rather worrying but hopefully this trend is on the way out....

Ales has always been a big fan of Jade ( and I remember first introducing him to Ted Breaux way back in September 2010. Who would have thought then that over a year later we would be messing about with Ales's favourite Absinthe, now in the Sip Or Mix portfolio, Jade Esprit Edouard! (

Green Tea and Rhubarb Sour by Ales Olasz of Montgomery Place

6-8 pieces Fresh Rhubarb
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml Simple Syrup
50ml Jade Esprit Edouard Absinthe
1/2 tsp powdered Green Tea
Egg White

Break down the rhubarb to release the juice and flavours. Add all the other ingredients and shake vigorously over ice and strain into the glass. Garnish with shreds of rhubarb and lemon.

The initial hit is naturally sour but with real complexity and reminiscent of a summer garden. The Absinthe adds a marked herbacious note and the mouthfeel is almost numbing. The combination of Egg White and Green Tea made it so creamy I wondered if Ales had perhaps slipped in some double cream while I wasn't looking! Admittedly we will have to wait for spring and the next rhubarb season before we can make this sour again but it just goes to show how versatile Absinthe can be in cocktails, even as the base spirit. Time to get messing about with some more Absinthe Sours me thinks...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

La Maison Fontaine Wins Gold at the 11th Absinthiades

La Maison Fontaine Absinthe Wins Gold

11th Annual Absinthiades in Pontarlier, France

The multi-award-winning Absinthe, La Maison Fontaine®, has added to its burgeoning trophy cabinet, winning the much coveted ‘Golden Spoon’ for the 2nd year in succession in the Blanche category, at the annual Absinthe festival in France.

Taking place in Pontarlier, the birthplace of French Absinthe, the festival, known as the “Absinthiades”, brings together the Worlds leading Absinthes to be tasted and is attended by visitors worldwide. The Absinthes are then judged by leading international spirits experts, VIP’s, and the public, across the 3 day Festival, to select the winner of the prestigious award recognizing the world’s finest.

Launched in 2010 La Maison Fontaine has now won 7 Medal’s including, ISC Gold, Gold in the Absinthe Masters, IWSC Gold and Best in Class, and is helping this much loved, revered and misunderstood “enfant terrible” take-off again.

Mark Stringer, La Maison Fontaine®, co-founder commented;

“We’re exceptionally proud to have won gold, in such a hotly contested category for the 2nd year in a row. We believe that there’s a gap in the market between the evocative, traditional Absinthe and the contemporary, a gap which we’re happy to bridge. One that Traditional absinthe drinkers, bar tenders and customers seem to be excited about”.

La Maison Fontaine® provides a refreshing and modern take on a 200-year-old classic. With its natural ingredients it provides an exciting alternative to the more recognised bar spirits. Distilled in the oldest absinthe stills in the world, using locally grown natural herbs including world renowned Pontarlier Grande absinthe, La Maison Fontaine® gives a refined and unique taste.

Working alongside leading mixologists, Founders Sven Olsen and Mark Stringer have created a range of stunning cocktails to shake up the London bar scene. From the Louche Bloom – a mixture of fresh lime, aged rum and homemade vanilla syrup – to the Fontaine Flower with champagne and Elderflower liqueur, the range provides a selection of surprising taste infusions to rival the existing modern classics such as The Pontarlier Mule.

Absinthe is doing more than simply adding to the existing drinks market, it’s a spirit that is helping introduce a new category for contemporary cocktail lists, with leading London bars, such as Zetter Townhouse, Paramount, Mandarin Oriental, Nobu, Purl, China Tang Dorchester, The London Cocktail Club, to name but a few, now stocking absinthe and La Maison Fontaine®. It's also doing the rounds at celebrity events with La Maison Fontaine most recently making its appearance with an exclusive bar at Bob Geldof's star-studded 60th Birthday Party which included guests Bono, Jerry Hall, Anna Friel and Rolling Stones rocker Bill Wyman to name but a few.

After nearly a century of myth surrounding Absinthe, La Maison Fontaine® is carefully crafted to challenge perceptions, and if its reception so far is anything to go by The White Fairy is certainly sprinkling its gold dust around London.