I have spoken a couple of times (including here) about Charles Baker's book The Gentleman's Companion. One of the favorites from this book is the Gaby de Lys. I was originally drawn to this drink by the combination of orgeat (an almond-flavored sweetener) and absinthe (a strong anisette) - how could those two flavors possibly work together in a cocktail?
But this drink really does comes together well. The absinthe mainly lurks in the background until the finish of the drink. The orgeat gives the cocktail a silky texture to go with a greenish hue from chilled absinthe. It has a sophisticated, 1920s era air - much like the drink's namesake, who was an international stage star from that time. And then there's the unmistakable bite from the absinthe. If you like pre-prohibtion era cocktails then this is an excellent one to try.
Gaby de Lys
Adapted from Jigger, Beaker and Glass: Drinking Around the World (1939) by Charles Baker
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. orgeat (I strongly recommend using Small Hand Foods' fine orgeat)
1 tsp. absinthe
Place an up glass into the freezer and let chill for at least 5 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice and shake well for at least 10 seconds until very cold. Double strain into the frosted up glass and serve.
Notes on ingredients:
- Be sure to use a simple gin without too much juniper flavoring. I recommend Plymouth, Boodles, No. 209 or in a pinch Bombay regular (not Sapphire).
- Small Hand Foods has a great little orgeat that rocks in this drink. If you have a homemade recipe of your own then go for it - just don't try using a high-fructose corn syrup-based bastardization of orgeat in this (or any other) recipe.
- You may also use Pernod or herbsaint in the place of absinthe if you have those spirits laying around.