Episode 307: Extreme Smoke

Caveman Lobsters with Absinthe Butter

Caveman Lobsters with Absinthe Butter

In this recipe, grilled lobster is basted with an alcohol that was outlawed for 100 years — absinthe. Absinthe is a spirit that was once prized by French Impressionists. One of the ingredients in absinthe is wormwood, and it was made to believe that it would make a person crazy. Absinthe was outlawed for a century. However, it was recently discovered that this was not true and absinthe is now back in the market. I love its anise-y flavor, and it goes great with grilled shellfish.

Lobsters are grilled caveman style — directly on the embers. What I love about this method is that it is so elemental. The shells will char and you get this amazing smoky flavor.


More Grilled Seafood Recipes:



Caveman Lobsters with Absinthe Butter

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Roasting in the embers


  • 4 spiny lobster tails, split in half lengthwise
  • Coarse salt and cracked black pepper

For the Absinthe Herb Butter:

  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (including chives and tarragon)
  • 2 tablespoons absinthe or pastis

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Build a charcoal fire and rake the coals into an even layer. (Leave the front third of your grill coal-free.) When the coals glow orange, fan them with a newspaper to blow off any loose ash.

Step 2: Generously, and I mean generously, season the lobster tails with salt and cracked pepper. Place the lobsters directly on the embers cut sides down, 2 inches apart. Grill until the bottoms are browned, 2 minutes. Invert the lobsters and cook shell side down until the shell juices bubble and the lobsters are cooked (the meat will be firm), 2 to 4 minutes more.

Step 3: Using tongs, lift the lobsters out of the fire, shaking each to dislodge any clinging embers. Using a basting brush, brush off any loose ash and arrange the lobster on a platter or plates. Brush with the Absinthe Herb Butter and serve any remaining butter in small bowls on the side.

Recipe Tips

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