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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.

Hapsburg XC Original

50cl, 89.90%
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
$65.63

La Fée NV Absinthe Verte

70cl, 40%
La Fée

La Fée's 'Envy' offering, now at 40% abv (as opposed to the lower 38%) and presented in new packaging. Popular with the bar and club market it works well with a variety of mixers.  More info

La Fée NV Absinthe Verte
$27.92

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
$36.29

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°
2
$38.76

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
$41.74

Absinthe de Pontarlier

50cl, 45%
Distillerie Guy

Wonderfully intense with herbal flavours, this is Absinthe de Pontarlier, produced by Distillerie Guy in France. Perfect for enjoying in the traditional way, so have your absinthe spoon and sugar…  More info

Absinthe de Pontarlier
$36.73

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
$111.20

La Fée Bohemian Absinthe 50cl

50cl, 70%
La Fée

A 50cl bottling of La Fée Bohemian Absinthe, produced in a more modern style than the classic La Fée as a homage to the spirit which was in Bohemia in the early 1990s. The herbaceousness has been…  More info

La Fée Bohemian Absinthe 50cl
$46.80

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
$76.07

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
$207.72

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
$52.04

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
$73.44

Absinthe Un Émile Blanche

70cl, 68%
Les Fils d'Emile Pernot

A colourless absinthe, produced by Émile Pernot in Pontarlier. Presented at a full-on 68% ABV, you'll want to enjoy this well diluted in chilled water, with or without the classic sugar cube.  More info

Absinthe Un Émile Blanche
$59.99

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
$48.40

Hapsburg Quartier Latin - Black Fruits of the Forest

50cl, 53.50%
Hapsburg

A lower strength flavoured absinthe from the Hapsburg Quartier Latin range, flavoured with "Black Fruits of the Forest". A sweet and intense spirit from the popular absinthe range.  More info

Hapsburg Quartier Latin - Black Fruits of the Forest
$42.98

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
$52.07

Mythe Absinthe

50cl, 69%
Distillerie Des Terres Rouges

Based on traditional recipes, this is a classic French distilled absinthe made with wormwood, anise, and other aromatics (some botanicals are macerated, others go into the copper still). No sugar is…  More info

Mythe Absinthe
$37.78

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
$95.59

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%
$30.42

Adnams Absinthe Verte

50cl, 66%
Adnams

This absinthe from Southwold brewers/distillers Adnams, is inspired by an old French recipe and is perfect in cocktails or by itself with a little water and sugar.  More info

Adnams Absinthe Verte
$42.95

Versinthe La Verte Absinthe 65

50cl, 65%
Liquoristerie de Provence

Verte Absinthe from the Versinthe range, presented at the full-on 65% ABV. Plenty of power and flavour behind this one with deft use of anise at its core. Great for enjoying in the traditional…  More info

Versinthe La Verte Absinthe 65
$37.79

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
$50.93

Clandestine Absinthe

70cl, 53%
La Clandestine

Based on a 1935 recipe by the renowned Swiss Absinthe distiller Charlotte Vaucher, this is a "Swiss La Bleue" or clear Absinthe. The producers recommend this be served without sugar.  More info

Clandestine Absinthe
$58.95

St. George Absinthe Verte 75cl

75cl, 60%
St. George Spirits

California's St. George Spirits were ready when the absinthe ban in America was lifted because the ban was only on selling absinthe, not actually distilling it. For 11 years, they therefore perfected…  More info

St. George Absinthe Verte 75cl
$77.48

Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe

50cl, 79%
Hapsburg

The Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe is bottled at the intense abv of 79% and is made with a recipe that include the most thujone legally allowed in alcoholic drinks in Europe, which is 35mg/kg.…  More info

Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe
$51.30

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