3/01/2013 05:02:00 PM

Cocktail Hour: Absinthe Milkshake at Péché

Austin’s more than just a drinking town. It’s also a city that produces almost enough liquor to satisfy its unquenchable thirst. That’s why each week we want to highlight a local spirit maker, brewer or interesting cocktail that keeps our spirits up in more ways than one. 

Let’s talk about adult milkshakes. And no, not the kind that bring anyone to the yard but the real deal, the kind that will knock you to the floor with that perfect combination of sweet and sinful. The epitome of these drinks is the eponymous frozen treat at downtown Prohibition-themed bar and restaurant Péché (which, fyi, means “sin”). Step out of Fourth Street and into a 1920s French wonderland here, the only place in town that serves both absinthe drinks and adult milkshakes as well as excellent food from chef Jason Dodge.


The Péché combines the best of both worlds. Bartenders (owner Rob Pate is strict in his policy not to hire trendy “mixologists”) take Palo Cortado sherry liquor, a touch of Kubler absinthe and homemade vanilla ice cream (“Is there any other flavor besides vanilla?” Pate says) for the perfect treat. Beyond the hallucinogenic, wormwood-infused absinthe itself, the drink is distinguished by the creaminess of the duck-egg ice cream. And according to Pate, “The worst thing a bartender can see is a blender.” That’s why all of the milkshakes are beaten by hand for a smooth, unique texture.

 While you’re there, try another absinthe cocktail to get the full effect. As Pate says,
“Each drink is worth probably about a drink and a half or a drink in three quarters in terms of alcohol content. But you’re not going to taste much alcohol: you’re going to taste a nice little licorice flavor, that’s going to be fortified a little bit with the wormwood.” 

Our advice? Sip slowly.

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