The Earthquake cocktail is a variation of a cognac recipe we found on the Saveur website. We swapped the cognac for whiskey. The cocktail is not complicated, but quality ingredients are a necessity.
The original recipe is commonly credited to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He was an influential French Post-Impressionist. Like most cocktails, it evolves with the times and peoples tastes. One recipe calls for equal parts absinthe and cognac, while another uses gin, bourbon, and absinthe.
We opted for our own variation using bourbon and absinthe. We choose to use more whiskey than absinthe as the anise and herbs can easily take over the flavor. Also, we like whiskey!
Since our version is only two ingredients it is important to pick the right combination.
We attempted a few versions using a variety of whiskey. Our least favorite pairing was with a rye whiskey. For us, a rye whiskey amplifies the licorice flavor of the absinthe, while the spice from the grain is intensified. A smoked whiskey works nicely but hides the fresh herbs of the absinthe.
For our taste buds, a bourbon or blended whiskey on the sweeter side works best. It is a balance of flavors. The whiskey is the dominate flavor, but you get hints of the absinthe. We used Yellow Rose Distillings Blended Whiskey for our concoction.
There are plenty of quality whiskeys to choose from, but since absinthe was banned from the US for 95 years the options not as vast. We use Lucid Absinthe which focuses on an herb to bottle process using traditional methods.
The Earthquake Cocktail
This is an intense concoction derived from its ability to shake the ground below your feet.
2.5 oz Bourbon or a sweet Blended Whiskey
.25 oz Absinthe (Lucid Absinthe)
Combine whiskey and absinthe in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into a chilled glass.