If you type in “Absinthe recipe” on a search engine you will find plenty of free DIY recipes and instructions to make Absinthe at home. Some recipes I found contained ingredients such as wormwood, hyssop, calamus root, mint, cloves, fennell seeds, star anise, nutmeg, ouzo and Everclear. Now, these herbs all seem to be acceptable herbs for making Absinthe and the Everclear and Ouzo give the homemade Absinthe its alcohol content BUT making Absinthe at home from herbs is not quite as simple as making homemade beer and is very risky.
Common Wormwood, or Artimesia Absinthium, has been known to be an hallucinogen in large doses and calamus root and nutmeg are all herbs that are psychoactive and can have psychodelic effects. The alcohol and other ingrediants can have a sedative effect and the alcohol is obviously an intoxicant. Is it really safe to mix these herbs with alcohol using recipes from the Internet? Probably not! This type of Green Fairy might well leave you feeling rather ill!
It is best to buy quality Absinthe brands such as Pernod, Hapsburg, Mari Mayans and Rodniks from known suppliers or to buy Absinthe essences online from companies like AbsintheKit.com. You can buy Absinthe, also known as Absenta, with or without wormwood although many people believe that Absinthe is not Absinthe without wormwood, after all that’s how it got its name.
Absinthe Recipe – The Ritual
Once you have bought your quality Absinthe, or made a bottle from essence, you will need to learn how to prepare proper Absinthe, the Absinthe from history enjoyed by famous artists and writers including Oscar Wilde and Van Gogh.
Pour about 25-50ml of Absinthe into the glass.
Place the cube of sugar onto the spoon and rest on top of the glass.
Slowly pour or drip the cold water over the sugar and into the Absinthe.
Enjoy La Louche – the essential oils of the herbs in the Absinthe are not water soluble and so louche or cloud and make the drink milky. It’s great to watch.
You can buy antique Absinthiana including spoons, glasses and Absinthe fountains or you can buy cheaper replicas. These will give your Absinthe preparation and drinking real style. An Absinthe fountain allows you to control the dripping of the water to give you a great louche effect.
There are many cocktail drinks you can make with Absinthe, including Ernest Hemingway’s favorite “Death in the Afternoon” which is a mix of Absinthe and champagne.
Avoid any Absinthe Recipe for homemade Absinthe and buy safe products where the levels of thujone and psychoactive herbs are controlled and measured.