What Was That?
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What Was That?
Cocktail recipe

Rating

3.82 / 5
What Was That? is a bold and intense cocktail that will surely awaken your senses. Its unique combination of aniseed liqueur, absinthe, lemonade, lemon liqueur, and black Sambuca creates a ... more What Was That? is a bold and intense cocktail that will surely awaken your senses. Its unique combination of aniseed liqueur, absinthe, lemonade, lemon liqueur, and black Sambuca creates a distinctively herbal and licorice flavor profile. The aniseed and Sambuca provide the cocktail with a strong, lingering licorice taste, while the absinthe adds a sweet and floral note. The lemonade and lemon liqueur add a refreshing citrus twist, balancing out the strong anise flavors. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy bold and complex flavors and is a popular choice for a night out or a special occasion. Just be careful, one sip of this potent concoction and you'll be asking "What Was That?!"
Check out all our FAQ's on this cocktail
Base ingredient
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Aniseed liqueur
Alcohol content
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15.8% | 4.74 units *

Method
How to make a What Was That?

Serves 1 · Takes 3 minutes
In a highball glass add the lemonade to three-quarters full, then add the Pernod and sambuca
Mix to make a murky black colour
Then layer the limoncello and the absinthe on top (in that order) and serve

Learn more about some of the mixology terms used in this cocktail

·  Highball  ·  Layer  · 

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FAQ's

INGREDIENT_SPECIFICS

What are the flavor profiles of the ingredients in What Was That?

The cocktail 'What Was That?' features a unique blend of strong and aromatic flavors. Aniseed liqueur and Sambuca (Black) both contribute a deep, sweet anise flavor, which is a hallmark of these spirits. Absinthe introduces a complex, herbal bitterness which is often associated with its wormwood content, along with hints of anise and fennel. Lemon liqueur adds a bright, citrusy sweetness, cutting through the heavier tastes of the other ingredients. Lemonade, used to top the cocktail, adds a refreshing, sweet, and tangy profile, balancing the cocktail's overall taste.

SERVING_SUGGESTIONS

How should 'What Was That?' be served for the best taste experience?

For the best taste experience, 'What Was That?' should be served cold in a highball glass, as specified. The drink should not be shaken or stirred, preserving the layered effect of its diverse ingredients. Adding ice to the glass before pouring the ingredients can help keep the drink colder for longer, enhancing the refreshing quality of the lemonade and the crisp, citrus note of the lemon liqueur. Due to its strong flavors and alcohol content, it's also a good idea to serve it with a straw, allowing drinkers to stir the drink slightly before sipping, if they prefer a more blended taste.

ALCOHOL_CONTENT_COMPARISON

How does the alcohol content in 'What Was That?' compare to other common cocktails?

The alcohol content of 'What Was That?' stands at 15.8%, which positions it on the higher end of the spectrum for cocktails. Many popular cocktails range in alcohol content from about 10% up to 20%. Therefore, 'What Was That?' is stronger than light cocktails like the Mojito or Pimm's Cup, which usually sit below 15%, but it's slightly milder than very strong cocktails like a Martini or Manhattan, which can exceed 20% alcohol by volume (ABV). Its relatively high alcohol content is due to the presence of multiple liquors, including Absinthe and Black Sambuca, both of which are known for their higher alcohol percentages.

CUSTOMIZATION_IDEAS

Are there ways to customize 'What Was That?' to suit different tastes?

Absolutely, 'What Was That?' can be customized in several ways to suit different preferences. For a less intense anise flavor, one might reduce the amount of Aniseed liqueur or Black Sambuca and substitute with a flavored syrup, such as vanilla or elderflower, to maintain sweetness. Those looking for a more herbal touch can increase the Absinthe slightly, given its complex flavor profile. For a sweeter, more citrus-forward drink, adjusting the ratio of Lemon liqueur and lemonade upwards will do the trick. Additionally, experimenting with sparkling lemonade or adding a splash of soda water can introduce a fizzy element to the drink, making it even more refreshing.

FOOD_PAIRINGS

What food pairings would complement 'What Was That?'?

Given the strong and sweet anise flavors of 'What Was That?', foods that can balance or complement these tastes would be ideal. Seafood dishes, especially those with a lemon or herb dressing, can create a delightful contrast with the cocktail's sweetness and herbal notes. For a cheese pairing, opt for mild, creamy cheeses that won't overpower the drink's intricate flavors. Light, savory pastries or an antipasto platter with olives, cured meats, and mild cheeses would also pair nicely, offering a varied taste experience that balances the cocktail's intensity. For dessert, a lemon tart or anise-flavored cookies could echo the drink's primary flavors beautifully.

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