Kevin Herson and Stacey Luckow are, without-question, one of the coolest couples in New York City. They started a small absinthe distillery in a Harlem basement back in 2012, and they were gracious enough to partner with us for our December box that closed out 2016.
Doc Herson’s Natural Spirits produces a white, a red and a green absinthe, housed in apothecary-styled bottles with wax-sealed tops and brown paper labels with plenty of antiquated appeal.
Each absinthe they create is distilled and bottled on-site, using combinations of organic, New York State-sourced botanicals and herbs. We always save our bottles after we finish, to repurpose them as tiny flower vases. They look charming on our bookshelves.
When mixing, you can keep things super simple for an easy, end-of-the-day drink by merely adding 1/2 ounce of green absinthe + ice and ginger beer or ginger ale. Or, swap out the green for red absinthe and use club soda in place of the ginger ale, with an orange slice to garnish.
If you’re feeling something more advanced, two of our favorite classic cocktails are The Sazerac (America’s first cocktail, invented in the 1830s in New Orleans) and The Corpse Reviver #2 (a refreshing, citrus-forward drink, which has a fun backstory to the name that you can read about here).
We don’t love these cocktails because they are nearly entirely alcohol, but we don’t hate them for that either.
2 oz. rye whiskey
½ oz. simple syrup (1:1)
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Doc Herson’s Green Absinthe
GLASS: cocktail or rocks
GARNISH: lemon twist
METHOD: Lightly rinse (coat) a chilled glass using a small splash of absinthe. Stir the other ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.
CORPSE REVIVER #2
1 oz. gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 dash Doc Herson’s green or white absinthe
GARNISH: orange peel
METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake hard for a few seconds till well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coup and garnish with the orange peel.
Make sure to use a jigger. These drinks are strong-yet-refreshing, but also impossible to balance without exact measurements.