Oysters and Absinthe. A Dauntless Valentine’s
APHRO CUISINE—FEBRUARY 2015 FEATURE
The mystique associated with absinthe has long captivated many of our most radical artists, eccentric musicians and deepest philosophers. Each one, although they may have been considered ludicrous in their time, were true genius’ of their art form—Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde, to name a few. Was it the allure of this fabled libation that drew them to it in order to meet their wild reputation, or did they draw inspiration under the intoxication of absinthe? Who knows. What I know, is that I feel magic on my tongue when it’s united with the herbaceous green liquor.
Oysters, the most well-accepted ‘aphrodisiac’, are somehow the perfect suitor for such an infamous drink. It may be one of the most intimate experiences you can have, to sip an oyster. Something so fragile and hidden for its entire existence in an almost impenetrable shell, and at first emergence to the outside world, and—mind you—still alive, you slurp it down. Not for the faint hearted.
Dauntless with an air of dangerous is the combination of the two, hence this duo is not for a cozy, complacent Valentine’s.
Of course, one can consume the two in any number of ways; I tried to keep it simple—a 4-ingredient absinthe cocktail, a version of raw oysters, and one baked. For true oyster lovers, raw may be the obvious choice. For someone needing a little jazz around the edges to soften the blow, this absinthe-baked oyster may do the trick.
Absinthe Meyer Lemon Drop
2 parts Absinthe Verte
1 part meyer lemon juice
1.5 part honey solution (honey melted in equal amount warm water)
.5 parts egg white
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a small glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
Absinthe-Baked Oysters With Citrus
10 freshly shucked oysters (I won’t go into the shucking process in this forum—watch a few YouTube videos if you aren’t versed)
2 cups of rock salt
2 tsp Absinthe Verte per oyster
.5 tsp knob of butter per oyster
A good sprinkling of meyer lemon zest
Fresh meyer lemon for atop
Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit/230 Celsius. It’s important to have a hot oven to flash cook them and keep their delicate texture. Spread the rock salt in a baking tray and place oysters evenly around the salt bed. Pour absinthe, sprinkle lemon zest and pop a knob of butter on top. Bake for about 5 minutes. Serve with a lemon wedge and some grapefruit segments sprinkled on top.
Recipe and photography by Megan McCulloch
APHRO CUISINE Eating is a ritual. It enriches our daily lives, enlivens our body and mind, and when we savour and indulge, evokes our sensuality. Aphro Cuisine is not only a seductive culinary and sensory project, but a way of life. A way to benefit and enjoy more deeply the vital potent energy that food brings us every day, and I’m here to share this food philosophy with you!