Death in the Afternoon

Wicked Bubbly© Gary Allard

Death in the Afternoon is not your grandma’s champagne cocktail. You won’t find this at Sunday brunch, where it would most likely be unwelcome. It’s a drink that Hemingway himself invented and it’s got teeth – perhaps even fangs.

As homage to his book, Death in the Afternoon, which of course, takes place in Spain, we choose an innocent bottle of Cava, a Spanish sparkling, and open the frosted green bottle of Le Tourment Vert absinthe.

This cocktail is a potent effervescence of herbal, sweet, and fruity complexity with a little burn in the finish (that’s the absinthe working). Hemingway suggests you drink “at least three of these.” We can’t condone that idea. Start with one and go from there.

The Inspiration

Hemingway has inspired more than a few great drinks, many of which we’ve written about here. If you prefer your Champagne drinks less … uh, hallucinogenic, then try our other favorites like the French 75 or the Kir Royale.

More of a beer-and-bubbly fan? The Champliny is for you – a mix of good bubbly and Pliny the Elder.

Got an interesting recipe? Share it on Facebook or find us on Twitter.

Death in the Afternoon

  • 2-3 oz. Chilled brut Champagne (or Cava if you prefer)
  • 1 oz. Absinthe

In a chilled Champagne flute or coupè, pour in the absinthe then gently add the Champagne and stir slowly.


CAUTION: Just because Hemingway could drink three or more doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Did you notice the name? The word “death” is a pretty serious thing no matter what time of day. Be safe and have a happy and healthy new year!

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