We did another tasting of Absinthe Nouvelle-Orleans the other night and it once again impressed us with its smooth taste and excellent, tingly, finish. We used a slightly smaller amount of absinthe, but probably ended up with a slightly stronger mixture, as we added less water. We also used two suger cubes per glass, rather than the one we used last week. This made for a sweeter, more licorice flavor, and really made it go down smoothly.
The color of the Absinthe Nouvelle-Orleans starts out a pretty pale green, almost the same color as the herbal liqueur Chartreuse except maybe a little greener. We trickled the cold ice water across the sugar cubes and into the absinthe much more slowly this time, using a small pourer. It takes a bit for it to "louche", which is what it is called when the absinthe turns into the cloudy green. You can see in the picture a before and after. Pretty neat transformation, actually.
And then you just sip it. As mentioned, it tastes a little bit sweet, with a very anise/licorice flavor. Not really minty, although there is some other kind of herbal taste to it. While it starts out at nearly 140 proof (68% alchohol), by the time you drink it in this fashion, it has been cut down more than half. I imagine the resulting mixture is about 40-50 proof, so less than a good martini. And after a few sips, your tongue gets tingly. Not really like it feels as the novocaine wears off after a dentist visit, but much more subtle. You don't even notice it creep up on you. A really special apertif.