Absinthe How to Prepare

Absinthe: How to Prepare the Legendary Green Fairy

Absinthe, also known as the “Green Fairy,” is a highly potent and mysterious spirit that has captivated the imaginations of artists, writers, and bohemians for centuries. This anise-flavored drink gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in Paris, where it became the favorite libation of the bohemian crowd. If you’re intrigued by this legendary drink and want to experience its unique taste, here’s a guide on how to prepare absinthe properly.

1. Choose the right absinthe: Look for an authentic absinthe that contains wormwood, anise, and fennel. Avoid artificially colored or flavored ones.

2. Prepare the glass: Use an absinthe glass or a regular glass with a wide rim. Place a sugar cube on an absinthe spoon and rest it on top of the glass.

3. Drip water over the sugar: Slowly pour ice-cold water over the sugar cube, allowing it to dissolve and drip into the absinthe. The water will release the essential oils and louche the drink, turning it cloudy.

4. The ratio: The traditional ratio is 1 part absinthe to 3-5 parts water, depending on your preference. Adjust it until you find your desired taste.

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5. Absinthe fountain: If you’re a true absinthe aficionado, consider investing in an absinthe fountain. This device allows you to drip water over the sugar cube at a controlled rate, providing a more authentic experience.

6. Absinthe with fire: While some may argue that setting absinthe on fire enhances the flavors, it’s not recommended. The high alcohol content makes it highly flammable and can be dangerous.

7. Experiment with herbs: If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding different herbs like mint or lemon balm to your absinthe. This can add an interesting twist to the flavor profile.

8. Absinthe cocktails: Absinthe is not only enjoyed as a traditional drink but also makes a great addition to cocktails. Experiment with classic recipes like the Sazerac or the Corpse Reviver No. 2.

9. Absinthe rituals: Embrace the mystique of absinthe by exploring traditional rituals like the “louche,” where you slowly add water and watch the drink transform.

10. Enjoy it slowly: Absinthe is a strong spirit, typically ranging between 45-74% alcohol by volume. Sip it slowly to fully appreciate its complex flavors.

11. Absinthe etiquette: In traditional absinthe circles, it’s considered bad manners to consume absinthe quickly or without water. Take your time and savor the experience.

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12. Absinthe and creativity: Many artists and writers have attributed their creative inspiration to absinthe. While the “green muse” may not work the same for everyone, it’s worth exploring its potential as a muse for your artistic endeavors.


1. Is absinthe legal? Yes, absinthe is legal in most countries, including the United States and Europe. However, certain regulations regarding thujone (a compound found in wormwood) content may apply.

2. How strong is absinthe? Absinthe typically ranges between 45-74% alcohol by volume, making it significantly stronger than most spirits.

3. Does absinthe make you hallucinate? Contrary to popular belief, absinthe does not cause hallucinations. The myth originated from the high alcohol content and the association of absinthe with bohemian lifestyles.

4. What is the louche effect? The louche effect occurs when water is added to absinthe, causing the drink to turn cloudy. This is due to the essential oils in absinthe becoming emulsified in the water.

5. Can you drink absinthe without water? While it’s possible to drink absinthe without water, it’s generally not recommended as the high alcohol content can be overpowering.

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6. How should absinthe be stored? Absinthe should be stored upright in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight.

7. What is the proper glassware for absinthe? Absinthe is traditionally served in an absinthe glass or a regular glass with a wide rim.

8. Can absinthe be mixed with other spirits? Absinthe can be mixed with other spirits and used in cocktails, but it’s important to find the right balance to complement its distinct flavor.

9. How do I know if my absinthe is authentic? Look for absinthe that contains wormwood, anise, and fennel. Authentic absinthe will also be louche when water is added.

10. Is absinthe safe to drink? Absinthe is safe to drink in moderation, like any other alcoholic beverage. However, its high alcohol content should be respected.

11. Does absinthe have any health benefits? Absinthe does not have any proven health benefits and should be consumed responsibly.

12. Can I use regular sugar instead of a sugar cube? Yes, you can use regular sugar instead of a sugar cube. Simply place a small amount of sugar in the absinthe spoon and dissolve it with water.