posted on July 12, 2018 by Ana Brazil

Absinthe frappés, anyone?

As almost everyone in 21st century America knows, a frappé is a delicious drink made with coffee and ice, which is often topped with bubbly foam. What you might not know is that New Orleanians have been enjoying frappés—often flavored with liqueurs like crème de menthe, crème de noyaux, or vermouth—since the 1850’s.

(And if you’re not interested in frappés, but are interested in Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes—yes, that’s a capital H—just keep reading!)

As The Picayune Creole Cookbook of 1901 informed cooks, chefs, and bartenders…

“Any Liqueur or Beverage may be served ‘au Frappee’ by filling a glass with crushed ice, pouring the beverage over and serving very cold, in almost a freezing state.”

I’ve already chronicled the killer history of absinthe in New Orleans, but with summertime in full simmer, now seems a good time to cool off with a very special, very vintage recipe. Here—from the pages of The Picayune Creole Cookbook—is an absinthe frappé recipe “used in old Creole days at the famous old Absinthe House, in Bourbon Street”.

Absinthe Frappé


A Dash of Anisette

A Small Glass Filled With Finely-Crushed Ice and Water

1 Tablespoonful of Absinthe


  1. Mix the Absinthe and Anisette together.
  2. Strain into small, thin glasses, with crushed ice and water.
  3. Let the mixture get very cold and serve immediately.

The Absinthe may be served without the Anisette. Some, add the white of an egg. But this is according to taste.

But enough about absinthe, especially since hurricane season is upon us! Enter my July contest to win a 1 liter bottle of Pat O’Brien’s Famous Hurricane Cocktail Mix AND a kindle copy of FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER. Just add rum and you can have your own FANNY NEWCOMB hurricane party!

Interior of the Old Absinthe House (1903) via Wikipedia

Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil

A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.) The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends. Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.

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