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Absinthe

Absinthe is the drink that needs little introduction, its reputation precedes it more than that of any other spirit in the world. La Fée Verte (The Green Fairy), as it is known, is distilled from the herb Grande Wormwood an ingredient used in many herbal drinks, including Bitters.

Usually, Absinthe is bottled at very high strength and it is made with neutral alcohol and various herbs. Traditional variants are made with white grape spirit, though absinthes are often made using alcohol distilled from grains, potatoes of beets. The three main ingredients, sometimes known as the “Holy Trinity”, are Florence fennel, Green Anise and Grande Wormwood. Other flavourings include star anise, angelica, coriander and nutmeg.

There are various styles of Absinthe, including Blanche (also known as la bleue) which is bottled immediately after distillation – it is clear in colour. Verte absinthe is coloured with a mixture of herbs post distillation, and Verte absinthes are similar to the Spanish Absenta – which differs in slightly in flavour (the addition of Alicante anise brings added sweetness). Bohemian Absinthe, often known as Czech-style absinthe, is made with very little or no anise or fennel, relying on wormwood for its flavour – it also has a very high alcoholic content.

Historically, absinthe has been portrayed as dangerous intoxicant, even a narcotic, though its infamy has also been a blessing in disguise, as the drink has gained an almost mythical reputation – with all sorts of suggestions of hallucinogenic effects and visions of green fairies and the like. The blame is usually centred on the chemical thujone – which, if present, is only found in very small quantities. It was also, incorrectly, purported to be a cannabinoid (a narcotic compound present in a drug with a similar sounding name). This is untrue, and thujone is allowed in certain foodstuffs in the EU. Studies have also shown that there are only minute quantities of it in absinthe.

Absinthe was paraded as the poster boy for the temperance movement (a historically shunning of alcoholic drinks) – and all sorts of woes and social immoralities were blamed on it. Vincent Van Gogh was famously said to be intoxicated with absinthe when cutting his own ear off and the drink was famously enjoyed by such eminent figures as Toulouse Lautrec, and even Oscar Wilde. Whilst much of the controversy surrounding absinthe is factually inaccurate, we would recommend that, due to its high alcoholic strength, it be drunk diluted and in moderation as well as being treated with responsibility.

The French Method of drinking absinthe involves the traditional slotted absinthe spoon. Absinthe is poured into the glass first. Then the slotted spoon is place atop the glass with a sugar cube on it. Using a slow drip fountain, water is gradually dripped onto the sugar cube, and into the glass until the cube is dissolved, the spoon is then used to stir the drink. Note, it will become cloudy thanks to the Louche Effect.

The Bohemian Method (We recommend you do not attempt this – it’s rather dangerous!) involves using a traditional heat proof absinthe glass, absinthe is poured into the glass, the slotted spoon is placed on top of the glass and an absinthe-soaked sugar cube is placed on the spoon. The sugar cube is then lit, and the cube is dropped into the drink and allowed to burn out – this removes some of the alcoholic content, as well as things like eyebrows and fringes (note – not a recommended grooming method).

Did you know?... ...Thujone is not exclusive to absinthe; there is actually thujone present in many herbs, including sage.

Cold-Distilled Absinthe

50cl, 91.20%
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth

A supremely delicious absinthe from the legendary Professor Cornelius Ampleforth. He crafts this fine spirit by macerating a selection of superb botanicals in English wheat spirit. These botanicals…  More info

Cold-Distilled Absinthe
15
$72.46

The Absinthe Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)

72cl, 63.80%
Drinks by the Dram

The Green Fairy has put on her Santa hat and blessed us with an Absinthe Advent Calendar! Packed full of 24 different 3cl sample drams of the anise-flavoured spirit, December is going to be an…  More info

The Absinthe Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)
$163.10

St. George Absinthe Verte 20cl

20cl, 60%
St. George Spirits

This is a 20cl bottle of St. George Absinthe Verte, made by infusing brandy with star anise, wormwood and fennel, then distilling it, and then a second infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon…  More info

St. George Absinthe Verte 20cl
$28.95

Jade Espirit Edouard Verte

70cl, 72%
Jade

The debut bottling from top absinthe producer, Jade. They specialise in producing absinthes based on pre-ban recipes from over a century ago. This verte absinthe offers up hints of sweetness and…  More info

Jade Espirit Edouard Verte
3
$84.25

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe

70cl, 68%
La Fée

Since July 2013 La Fée Parisienne has been made with 100% natural ingredients including 60% grand wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), a much higher proportion than before. Meanwhile, a UV resistant…  More info

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe
2
$50.60

Sebor Absinth

50cl, 55%
Sebor

Packaged in a unique, distinctive bottle, Sebor Absinth is an incredibly popular spirit, made by blending 13 herbs to a century-old Swiss recipe. The result is a rich, mellow, spicy absinth, at the…  More info

Sebor Absinth
2
$30.62

St. George Absinthe Verte 70cl

70cl, 60%
St. George Spirits

From the Californian distillery St. George Spirits comes a great absinthe created with ingredients such as star anise, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop and stinging nettles. It was the first legal American…  More info

St. George Absinthe Verte 70cl
$73.66

Combier L'Entêté Absinthe Supérieure

70cl, 62%
Combier

This is an absinthe produced by Fresh distillers Combier. The name "L'Entêté Absinthe" means "The Stubborn Absinthe", in reference to the reaction the owner of Combier, Franck Choisne, had to the…  More info

Combier L'Entêté Absinthe Supérieure
$63.70

La Fée Blanche Absinthe

70cl, 53%
La Fée

A fabulous, sweet, herbal, old-fashioned white absinthe, La Fée Blanche is based on an old French recipe from the 1800s, produced in conjunction with the French Absinthe Museum. Don't be put off by…  More info

La Fée Blanche Absinthe
$47.29

La Fée Bohemian Absinthe

70cl, 70%
La Fée

La Fée Bohemian is a more modern style of absinthe based on the spirit made in Bohemia back in the early 1990s. This is a more herbal style of absinthe, with less anise used in preparation, and as a…  More info

La Fée Bohemian Absinthe
2
$52.08

Pernod Absinthe

70cl, 68%
Pernod

A herbal, intense absinthe from Pernod - famous today for being a top producer of France's beloved Pastis, but once renowned (or should we say "infamous") as the first absinthe distillery when they…  More info

Pernod Absinthe
2
$42.90

Louche Absinthe 50cl

50cl, 50%
Louche Abinsthe

A 50cl bottling of Louche French absinthe created by Alain Lemercier, a sixth generation Master Distiller. At 50% abv, this is not one of the stronger absinthes on the market, concentrating instead…  More info

Louche Absinthe 50cl
$23.58

Jade Terminus Oxygenée Absinthe

70cl, 68%
Jade

This absinthe from Jade Liqueurs is a rather intriguing expression, made with a selection of botanicals which include a species of wormwood harvested from the foothills of the Alps. It is then…  More info

Jade Terminus Oxygenée Absinthe
1
$81.52

Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Verte

70cl, 68%
Jade

Jade Nouvelle-Orleans is a verte absinthe based on a recipe by T.A. Breaux who studied absinthes made in New Orleans in the early part of the 20th century. This is a stunning style of absinthe and is…  More info

Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Verte
1
$81.97

Trenet Premium Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Trenet

Trenet is a Premium Absinthe which is produced in France. It represents great value for money, and offers up rich notes of wormwood and anise.  More info

Trenet Premium Absinthe
$35.88

Green Tree Absinth Fairy

70cl, 70%
Green Tree

Green Tree Absinth Fairy is a rather strong Czech absinthe, bottled at 70% ABV. Made with a plethora of woodland herbs and spices.  More info

Green Tree Absinth Fairy
$36.24

Hapsburg Absinthe Classic

50cl, 72.50%
Hapsburg

Hapsburg Absinthe Classic is made using the traditional absinthe recipe, which includes grand wormwood, creating some fantastically refined and unmistakable herbal aromas that have made the green…  More info

Hapsburg Absinthe Classic
$41.71

Jade 1901 Absinthe

70cl, 68%
Jade

Created by the superb Jade company this is a classic absinthe based on a 1901 recipe which was used by the famous Pernod Fils distillery based in Saumur, France.  More info

Jade 1901 Absinthe
$81.61

Two Birds Absinthe

70cl, 70%
Union Distillers

A little birdy told me you hadn't joined the absinthe renaissance yet. Well it turns out he and his mate make their own from a blend of wormwood and aniseed, which they bottle at 70% abv to lock all…  More info

Two Birds Absinthe
1
$45.58

La Maison Fontaine Blanche

70cl, 56%
La Maison

Created at Pontarlier in the Jura mountain range to the east of France, La Maison Fontaine is a superb clear abinsthe which won a Gold and a Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirit…  More info

La Maison Fontaine Blanche
1
$66.63

Liquoristerie De Provence Versinthe La Blanche

50cl, 55%
Liquoristerie de Provence

A vacuum distilled absinthe from Liquoristerie De Provence, made using a blend of 20 plants. It's not as green as you might expect an absinthe to be - in fact, we could probably go so far as to say…  More info

Liquoristerie De Provence Versinthe La Blanche
$42.00

La Fée XS Absinthe Suisse

70cl, 53%
La Fée

A Swiss-style absinthe from La Fée, the top producers. They make this wine-based absinthe in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, using very old recipes and methods. Made with locally grown Grand Wormwood.  More info

La Fée XS Absinthe Suisse
1
$95.34

Francois Guy Absinthe

100cl, 45%
Distillerie Guy

Distilled in Pontarlier by Francois Guy, this absinthe has a light green olive tint, and it offers a fresh, herbal nose and palate.  More info

Francois Guy Absinthe
1
$79.55

Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Cassis

50cl, 89.90%
Hapsburg

A cassis-flavoured, extra strong absinthe from the Hapsburg brand. Juicy with notes of blackcurrant joining the intensely herbal flavour profile. At 89.9% ABV, you're definitely going to want to…  More info

Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Cassis
$77.79

Jade VS 1898 Absinthe

70cl, 65%
Jade

A Verte Suisse absinthe based on a recipe that was distilled by CF Berge in the 19th century prior to the Absinthe ban. This is a full-bodied spirit distilled by Jade. Neat packaging too!  More info

Jade VS 1898 Absinthe
$80.39

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