Absinthe is a fantastic drink that has many myths and legends surrounding it and a very interesting history. It was a popular drink in 19th century France and there were even bars in Paris or bars who had special Absinthe hours (L’heure de verte) where people could learn how to Absinthe, how to enjoy the Green Fairy, as it was known.
The Green Fairy was the muse of many famous artists and writers who were part of the trendy Bohemian Paris scene. Absinthe devotees include Van Gogh, Degas, Pablo Picasso, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway. Absinthe featured in many famous works of art such as “L’Absinthe” by Degas, Manet’s “The Absinthe Drinker” and “La Buveuse d’Absinthe” by Belgian artist Felicien Rops. Recently, Absinthe has featured in movies such as “Moulin Rouge”, “Alfie”, starring Jude Law, and “From Hell” starring Johnny Depp.
Absinthe is having a real revival at the moment and many people are buying it for the first time not knowing how it should be prepared.
How to Absinthe at home
First you need to make sure that you have got a quality real Absinthe and not a fake Absinthe or Absinthe substitute. True Absinthe is a strong liquor (up to 75% alcohol by volume) with an anise flavor. It is much stronger than other spirits like whisky and vodka.
Absinthe is either green or clear (La Bleue or Blanche styles) and is made from distilling herbs including wormwood, aniseed and fennel in an alcohol base. Good Absinthe manufacturers use the finest quality organic herbs. There are many Absinthe suppliers online.
If you cannot find real wormwood Absinthe, you can buy essences from AbsintheKit.com to make your own Absinthe at home. These essences are made with the traditional Absinthe herbs and essential oils and are distilled using high tech carbon dioxide distillation. All you need to do is mix some essence with a neutral alcohol, such as vodka, and there you have it, your very own Absinthe. There are four different types of Absinthe essence to choose from – visit their website to order the essences as well as replicas of antique Absinthe glasses and spoons.
How To Absinthe using “The Ritual”
Once you have either bought or made your Absinthe you need to know how to prepare it. The traditional way of preparing Absinthe to drink is to dilute it with iced water. You will need:-
Pour a shot of Absinthe into the glass and rest the slotted Absinthe spoon over the rim of the glass.
Place the sugar cube on the spoon.
Slowly drip the iced water over the sugar cube so that it gradually dissolves and drops through the slots into the Absinthe. The ratio of water to Absinthe is usually between 3:1 and 5:1.
Watch the Absinthe louche as the water mixes into the alcohol. The Absinthe will turn from a transparent green to a milky or cloudy pale green due to the essential oils not being soluble in water.
Stir your Absinthe and enjoy it.
That’s how to Absinthe at home – simple and very tasty!