The absinthe rinse is a useful bar technique, and a key step in the creation of a good Sazerac, Vieux Carré or Absinthe Martini. Of course the rinse technique isn’t restricted to absinthe and can be used with scotch whisky to create an Islay Martini or a peat-infused Manhattan.
The rinse exists to provide a subtle hint of a usually strong-flavoured ingredient, and can be an alternative to the floated dash, where a teaspoon is layered on top of the finished drink, or a spritz from an atomiser. As a result, a rinse provides a great opportunity for experimentation with unusual or complementary flavours.
To rinse a glass:
- Add a couple of ice cubes and a teaspoon of your rinse ingredient to the serving glass.
- Stir a few times, liberally splashing the sides of the glass.
- Tilt the glass so the rinse reaches the rim and turn slowly to coat the entire glass.
- Discard the ice and the excess rinse.
- Prepare your drink.