Also known as the Green Fairy, absinthe has long held an aura of mystery and even infamy.
Legalized for sale in the US in 2007, it’s maintained steady popularity over the years due to its strong alcohol content, unique taste, and fairly elaborate pouring method.
How to Make an Absinthe Drip
Preparing an absinthe drip is a fairly straightforward process but does require a bit of finesse (and patience).
- 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
- 1 sugar cube
- Approximately 4 1/2 to 6 ounces of filtered water
1. Pour the shot of absinthe into a glass. Traditionally, absinthe is served in stemmed glasses, although rocks glasses also work well.
2. Place the absinthe spoon across the glass. Next, set the sugar cube on top of the spoon. Many people prefer organic sugar because it tends to dissolve quickly and in a uniform fashion.
3. Fill a container with about six ounces of filtered, ice-cold water and slowly pour or drip the water through the sugar and into the glass.
4. Adjust the water and sugar levels to suit your personal taste.
History of Absinthe
Absinthe’s history is intertwined with tales of artistry and even madness, popularized in works by Hemingway, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and many others. It’s a neutral, high-proof (110 to 145) spirit infused with botanicals, including wormwood, fennel, and anise. One botanical in particular, wormwood, is often rumored to contain hallucinogenic properties – although it doesn’t really.
Production is similar to gin. After the botanical infusion, it’s redistilled in a copper pot still. Then, it’s infused for a second time, a process that creates the signature green color. Lower-quality brands will typically skip the second infusion in favor of green dye.
Absinthe has a fairly involved method of preparation. You’ll need what’s called an absinthe spoon. It’s a pronged spoon with slots in the middle. An absinthe spoon is used to slowly add sugar water to the absinthe. No other drink has a preparation method quite like absinthe – and many people find it’s what makes this drink so fun!
If you don’t like the taste of traditional drip absinthe, two popular alternatives are available:
- Sugar-Free: Simply add water to dilute the absinthe as much (or as little) as you like. No absinthe spoon or sugar cubes are required.
- Accent: A quarter of an ounce or less adds a bittersweet, slightly floral flavor to practically any cocktail.
Have fun experimenting with this one and be sure to invite your friends. It’s way more fun! You might also like the Death in the Afternoon cocktail made with absinthe!
Just remember to always enjoy responsibly!