In my continued exploration of lower proof cocktails, I stumbled upon Collin Nicholas's Invitation via Imbibe. I like that it began as a split base drink, softening the usually brisk Martini format. This made it very amenable to my now standard reverse perfect format.
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz blanc vermouth
1 oz gin
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
6 drops absinthe
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The aromas are dominated by the licorice of the bitters and Herbsaint, backed up by the dry vermouth and a pleasant citrus note (maybe a good reason to add a lemon twist?). The sip begins balanced between sweet and sour from the vermouths, transitions through and herbal burst of licorice in the middle, which fades into complex bitterness led by the gin. The finish is fairly light and driven by the dry vermouth with a thread of Peychauds.
I have historically found Martini-style drinks to be too bracing, but this really hits the spot. Maybe once I'm back to having full strength drinks this will seem kind of tepid, but right now it does exactly what I want it to do. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well the various licorice-driven ingredients fit into the drink since I often find them overbearing. All in all I would highly recommend this drink in either form.