Courtesy Chris Elford, Navy Strength, Seattle
The signature drink of Navy Strength, the streamlined tiki-modern spot from the proprietors of beloved Seattle cocktail lounge Rob Roy, is a classic daiquiri at heart.
Yet, the addition of one ingredient, absinthe, transforms the drink entirely. Subtle herbal notes from the spirit flicker around the edges of the familiar sweet-tart cocktail, which lead you from sip to sip. Before you know it, the glass is empty.
This liqueur channels anise, licorice, fennel, mint and other herbaceous flavors. Too strong to sip straight, absinthe is usually diluted with water, a process called louching. It tames the alcohol and gives the drink a gorgeous pearly sheen. In cocktails like the Navy Strength Daiquiri, it’s used sparingly, either dashed into the shaker or used to rinse a glass for a fleeting note of anise.
Here are five to try. The prices may seem steep, but even a small bottle will last a long time.
- 2 ounces Banks 5 Island Rum
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce Demerara syrup*
- 2 dashes absinthe
- Lime wheel (for garnish)
In cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake well, and strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lime wheel.
*To make Demerara syrup, mix 1 part hot water with 1 part Demerara sugar. Stir until sugar completely dissolves. Cool to room temperature.