The name of this beautiful drink is pretty misleading. The Necromancer Cocktail is as far from the dark image of someone practicing black magic and talking to the dead as it possibly can.
Quick Facts Necromancer Cocktail
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: floral, boozy, anis
- How to serve it: straight up
- Best glassware: coupe glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 18% ABV, 16 grams of alcohol per serving
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- ¾ oz Absinthe - la Bleue
- ¾ oz elderflower liqueur
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz Lillet Blanc
- 1 dash Gin
- 1 lemon twist and elderflower blossom - for garnish
- Cool your coupe glass with ice for a few minutes. (optional)
- Add Absinthe, elderflower liqueur, Gin, and lemon juice into your shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until your shaker feels cold outside.¾ oz Absinthe, ¾ oz elderflower liqueur, ¾ oz lemon juice, 1 dash Gin, ¾ oz Lillet Blanc
- Remove the ice from your glass and strain your drink into it.
- Garnish with a lemon twist and elderflower blossom.1 lemon twist and elderflower blossom
Ingredients with Recommendations
Besides Absinthe, the Necromancer recipe asks for Elderflower liqueur, Gin, fresh lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and a lemon twist.
When you stick to the recipe and pay attention to its details, you will get a perfect drink:
Absinthe: Absinthe was banned until the mid-2000s because it was believed to be dangerous and hallucinogenic. Long story short, it is not. For this drink, you best use the clear version, not the usual green kind. Read more on this below.
Elderflower Liqueur: Elderflower liqueur has a sweet, delicate, and floral taste with subtle notes of citrus and pear. Your best option is St. Germain. Alternatively, you can try the product from Pür Likör (sometimes spelled Pur Likor). If neither is an option, check out this list of substitutes for St. Germain.
Lemon juice: The most important thing here is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled juice -or, even worse- citrus aroma from the supermarket won't deliver the natural, zesty lemon flavor this cocktail needs.
Gin: Use London Dry Gin for the Necromancer recipe. It's one of the most popular types of gin, known for its juniper-forward taste and low sweetness level. Try Sipsmith London Dry for this cocktail. It goes perfectly with the floral notes from the elderflower liqueur.
Lillet Blanc: Lillet is an aromatized and fortified French aperitif wine with 17% vol., usually based on Sauvignon Blanc and a citrus liqueur made from orange peels. It is sweet but refreshing, with a hint of citrus and spices.
Best Absinthe for the Necromancer
The Necromancer Cocktail does not require the better-known green-colored type of Absinthe but white Absinthe, called la Bleue. It lacks the flavors of the herbs responsible for the green color - wormwood- and has a more licorice-forward taste.
See if you can get a bottle of Tenneyson Absinthe Royale. Otherwise, you can use the green version, if you have an open bottle at home. Absinthe is pricey, and if you don't use it often, you can save some bucks here. You can even try Ouzo instead.
The official garnish of the Necromancer cocktail is a lemon twist. You can place it on the rim of your glass or let it float on the drink.
Should you happen to live in an area where elder trees grow, you can add a few fragrant elderflowers. The floral scent is a beautiful addition, and floral garnishes are a fantastic way to improve the visuals of your drinks.
History of the Necromancer Cocktail
The history of the Necromancer Cocktail does not go back very far, which means it is well-documented.
Once the ban on Absinthe was lifted in the US in 2007, the situation literally cried for a new interpretation of classics with the mysterious spirit. The Necromancer is a beautiful, contemporary example of that.
The Louro restaurant has since closed its doors for good. However, the Necromancer survived and continues to gain traction.
Related Cocktail Recipes
Absinthe is a spirit surrounded by myths and stories. For over 100 years, people believed it caused psychedelic side effects and was dangerous. The unusual color and the high alcohol content of up to 85% ABV didn't exactly help divert this belief.
Today, we know this to be untrue, and Absinthe drinks are more popular than ever. If you like a hint of anis in your drinks, how about these beauties:
You can also head over to this overview for more cocktails with Absinthe or learn how to drink it the traditional way.