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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.

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
$45.61

Quaglia Assenzio del Professore

70cl, 72%
Antica Distilleria Quaglia

An absinthe from Italian liqueur and grappa producer Quaglia made with wormwood, coriander, mint, camomile, angelica and fennel seeds bottled at 72% abv.  More info

Quaglia Assenzio del Professore
$42.38

Hapsburg Absinthe Classic

50cl, 72.5%
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
1
$36.28

Hapsburg Absinthe Red for Cocktails

50cl, 69%
Hapsburg

Despite this being Hapsburg's lower alcohol absinthe, the Absinthe Red still weighs in at a sturdy 69% abv. It was made with cocktails in mind, featuring a less pronounced aniseed taste to make it…  More info

Hapsburg Absinthe Red for Cocktails
$36.14

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
$41.60

Berger Vert & Vif Absinthe

70cl, 55%
Berger

The Swiss Berger brand dates back to Charles Frédéric Berger in the 1830s, with the company having to switch to pastis production in 1915 as the infamous spirit was prohibited. It took almost a…  More info

Berger Vert & Vif Absinthe
$45.58

Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure

70cl, 60%
Philadelphia Distilling

Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure is a very handsome American Absinthe produced by Philadelphia Distilling, using grain spirit as a base and a selection of traditional Absinthe botanicals. These…  More info

Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure
$64.30

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
$36.86

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
$70.36

Versinthe Absinthe

70cl, 45%
Liquoristerie de Provence

While not as strong as many absinthes (they're often seen sitting around 60% abv), the Versinthe Absinthe still contains a heaping dose of star anise, herbs and pleasantly bitter notes. It is also a…  More info

Versinthe Absinthe
$31.77

Absente 55°

70cl, 55%
Absente

A french absinthe made from a blend of artemisia absinthium, aniseed flavours, mint and spices. Mild and pastis-like in style, ideal for cocktails. Absente means 'absent' in French. #drinkaware  More info

Absente 55°
1
$33.94

Absinthe Bitters

50cl, 52%
Great Southern Distilling Company

Absinthe Bitters from The Great Southern Distilling Company down on the Western Coast of Australia. This is made with two different types of wormwood (the herb that imparts absinthe much of its…  More info

Absinthe Bitters
$52.75

La Maison Fontaine Verte

70cl, 55%
La Maison

Produced to a classic recipe, La Maison Fontaine Verte is a tasty French absinthe made at the company's Pontarlier Distillery.  More info

La Maison Fontaine Verte
$66.60

Le Vrai Absinthe - 1970s

Le Vrai

This rare bottle of Le Vrai Absinthe (The Real Absinthe, when translated from French) was produced in the 1970s. With a name like that, you expect it to be the real deal, like David Dickinson's TV…  More info

Le Vrai Absinthe - 1970s
1
$181.85

La Pontissalienne

50cl, 56%
Distillerie Guy

A subtly relaxed absinthe from the Distillerie Guy, a name long associated with top quality absinthe. For the La Pontissalienne, they've created an expression that aims for a good balance between the…  More info

La Pontissalienne
$45.56

La Pontissalienne 1l

100cl, 56%
Distillerie Guy

La Pontissalienne is a stylish, delicious Absinthe from Distillerie Guy, which gives us a well-balanced snapshot of herbaceous wormwood and vibrant anise, alongside a selection of other classic…  More info

La Pontissalienne 1l
$85.75

The Absinthe Advent Calendar (2016 Edition)

72cl, 62.5%
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 (2016 Edition)
1
$148.45

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
2
$73.95

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
$70.56

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
$83.68

Hapsburg XC Original

50cl, 89.9%
Hapsburg

The label of the Hapsburg XC Original says Extra Strong on the label, and it definitely is strong. Carrying an abv of 89.9%, the Hapsburg XC should be served very well diluted and far away from any…  More info

Hapsburg XC Original
$57.46

La Fée XS Absinthe Française

70cl, 68%
La Fée

This absinthe from La Fée is distilled in Pontarlier, France, and it's made in very small quantities to an old-fashioned French recipe, based on locally-grown Grand Wormwood.  More info

La Fée XS Absinthe Française
$97.35

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
$20.70

La Fée NV Absinthe Verte 38%

70cl, 38%
La Fée

A lower strength verte absinthe from La Fée. This is designed for the bar and club market, where its lower abv allows for a greater flexibility when it comes to mixing in drinks… Awarded Gold at the…  More info

La Fée NV Absinthe Verte 38%
$26.63

Hapsburg Super Deluxe Red Label Absinthe

50cl, 85%
Hapsburg

The Hapsburg Super Deluxe Red Label Absinthe follows naming conventions set in the 1990s by Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. It is a premium absinthe…  More info

Hapsburg Super Deluxe Red Label Absinthe
$44.59

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