Mr. Martini from behindthebarshow.com and I have done a few podcasts on mixology – in fact, here is the link to our Mint Julep episode from the running of the Kentucky Derby (very different than running PAST the Kentucky Derby…believe me.)
So, he was the guy I turned to, to help me “perfect” the drink The Carnage, which fellow Ironman Louisville athletes Maria and Paula and I came up with on the plane home. Though we wanted to try a salt rim to signify the 110 degrees and our salt-encrusted bods on finishing, that makes an undrinkable drink. Then again, you can go ahead and do that, just call it “The Carnage – DNF” (because you can’t Finish that drink, too disgusting).
In a martini shaker, shake with ice:
*1 oz bourbon (Bulleit preferred). The bourbon signifies the brown waters of the Ohio, as well as the favored libation of Kentucky.
*1/2 oz lime juice. The lime signifies the “sour” times that we all had on the day. And, perhaps, the special “tang” that having gone on the Ironman journey adds to our lives!
*1/2 oz simple syrup. (To be fancy-schmancy and more tasty, make the simple syrup from maple sugar and water – but regular simple syrup should do too.) The simple syrup represents the sweetness of all the victories that we had along the way on the day – from a great bike split to a rockin’ swim, from a smile from a teammate to crossing the finish line. “Simple” pleasures, but Oh, so sweet.
Double strain into two shot glasses. (Double straining will get rid of the ice pieces that could get in the way of flaming. Yes – you heard right. Read on.)
Float 1/4 oz warm absinthe on top (the warmer the absinthe, the more spectacular the flame will be). The warm absinthe represents the warmth of the day, as well as the mind-bending craziness that all of us experienced from that heat. And, perhaps, the slight insanity that overtook all of us, to have started the Ironman journey to begin with!
Place shotglasses each in the cut-out middle of a sponge soaked with ice water. Sprinkle one quick shake of salt theatrically onto the absinthe, then put a match to it until it builds a blue flame on top. Where that sponge has BEEN before you put it to your lips is not something you thought about in the race (perhaps until you saw them loading them off the street and back into the barrels), so why worry about it now?
Let some of the alcohol burn off, then blow it out and “down the hatch!”
Suck iced water out of a sponge as a chaser.