Death in the Afternoon

Absinthe Cocktails

Death in the Afternoon was purportedly created by Ernest Hemingway and three officers aboard the H.M.S. Danae after spending 7 hours trying to get a fishing boat off a bank. It is also known as the Hemingway Champagne. During his time in La Rive Gauche (Left Bank), Paris he developed his palette for Absinthe. Known for its strength and decadence, this cocktail is no walk in the park. His original instructions were:

“Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”


20ml Absinthe,
130ml Champagne (Top with Champagne),
Read some Hemingway.

Champagne Flute.


1) One of my favourite variants includes placing an Absinthe sorbet on an absinthe spoon, which rests upon a coupe glass. Slowly pour the Champagne over the sorbet. Downside? If you aren’t steady-handed it gets rather messy.
2) Pouring the Champagne first and then floating absinthe on top.
3) Replacing Champagne with other bubblies (e.g. Prosecco or Cava) or a strong Pastis (e.g. Pernod).

1) Photo, instagram/m_hylander
2) Trying to Clear Absinthes Reputation (McGee, 2007).
3) Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon (Wondrich, 2007)
4) Top 5 Absinthe Cocktails (English, 2011)



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