Death In The Afternoon

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Cocktail History

The Death In The Afternoon is a vintage cocktail that was created in the 1930s by author Ernest Hemingway. Known for his preference for strong drinks, this one carries on that trend by mixing about an ounce of absinthe with effervescent sparkling wine.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sparkling Wine: This is a carbonated wine made with white or red grapes. We used La Marca Prosecco because it has a crisp and refreshing taste with floral notes. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine.

Absinthe: This is a spirit made with anise, wormwood, fennel, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte because it’s flavorful and made locally to us. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Tasting Notes

The Death In The Afternoon has a strong, effervescent licorice aroma and a creamy-textured explosion of strong, bitter anise flavors lessened a bit by the mix with wine.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: With all due respect to Mr. Hemingway and his drinking rituals, neither of us could quite stomach the Death In The Afternoon, although we found the science behind its creamy mouthfeel of the bubbles and absinthe to be pretty fascinating. We wouldn’t drink it again, but if you want a challenge or absolutely love absinthe, then give this a try!

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐
“Hemingway, you dog, you’ve done it again. The Death in the Afternoon, which is so aptly named, in my opinion, is an absolute bomb of absinthe flavors, burn, and proof that is mellowed only slightly by the sparkling wine. Although I have the utmost respect for the drink and anybody who enjoys it, it was not for my palate. When I first tasted it, I was shocked by just how strong the absinthe was; I did expect it to be a bit more cut by the wine than it was. If I really put my mind to it, I could definitely drink it, but there’s no chance I’d be able to pen the great American novel while doing so. I doubt I’d even be able to sign my name after two of these.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐
“I’m not a fan of absinthe so I knew going into this tasting that I was probably not going to like this drink at all. Yeah… uhh, I was right. Not even sparkling wine could tame its strong absinthe flavor, which to me tastes like a sun tan spray my mom used as a kid. This was not for me, but if you like absinthe, you’ll probably find this to be a delight.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Liquor.com, an online beverage publication.

AuthorLiquor.com

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 4 ½ oz Sparkling Wine
 1 ½ oz Absinthe

Method
1

Add absinthe to a cocktail glass.

2

Top with sparkling wine.

3

Stir for 3-5 seconds.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 4 ½ oz Sparkling Wine
 1 ½ oz Absinthe

Directions

Method
1

Add absinthe to a cocktail glass.

2

Top with sparkling wine.

3

Stir for 3-5 seconds.

Death In The Afternoon

Make It a Mocktail: Use Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Prosecco in place of the sparkling wine and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Absinthe Cocktails

If you like this absinthe-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Empress Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail Recipe

Empress Corpse Reviver No. 2: A gin cocktail made with triple sec, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe, and an orange twist

Weeper's Joy Cocktail Recipe

Weeper’s Joy: An absinthe cocktail made with sweet vermouth, Kümmel, simple syrup, and orange curaçao

De La Louisiane Cocktail Recipe

De La Louisiane: A whiskey cocktail made with Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, absinthe, Peychaud’s Creole bitters, and a cherry

Brain Duster Cocktail Recipe

Brain Duster: A whiskey and absinthe cocktail made with sweet vermouth, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a lemon twist

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-04-25.

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