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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.

Absinthe is usually 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 and 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.

Absinthe comes in various styles, including Blanche (also known as la bleue) which is bottled immediately after distillation and 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.

Absinthe has been portrayed as a dangerous intoxicant—even a narcotic—though its infamy has also been a blessing in disguise since 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 shunning of alcoholic drinks). 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. It should be treated with respect!

The French Method of drinking absinthe involves the traditional slotted absinthe spoon. Absinthe is poured into the glass first. Then the slotted spoon is placed 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 heatproof 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 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

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
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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

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe 50cl

50cl, 68%
La Fée

A 50cl-sized bottle of La Fée's classic Parisienne style absinthe. This was awarded a silver medal at the 2003 International Spirits Challenge, and it is made to an original 19th century recipe.  More info

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe 50cl

Butterfly Boston Absinthe

70cl, 65%
Butterfly Absinthe

This delicious absinthe was based on a pre-prohibition absinthe that was made in Boston in the early 1900s. There were fields of wormwood throughout the Midwest and New England, so they had plenty of…  More info

Butterfly Boston Absinthe

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

Apsinthion Absinthe

50cl, 55%
Apsinthion

Apsinthion is a Polish absinthe, made with lemon balm, fennel and star anise, among other botanicals. A particularly sweet absinthe, with a good kick of citrus at the core.  More info

Apsinthion Absinthe

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%

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

Studer Premium Absinthe

70cl, 55%
Studer

This handsome bottle of Studer Premium Absinthe comes from Switzerland, a country filled with immeasurable beauty, brilliant chocolate and, evidently, fabulous absinthe. A family recipe of wormwood,…  More info

Studer Premium Absinthe

Louche Absinthe

70cl, 50%
Louche Abinsthe

A great French absinthe created by sixth generation Master Distiller, Alain Lemercier. Whilst its abv is low in comparison to some absinthes, this stuff roars complexity and flavour. Louche is an…  More info

Louche Absinthe
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Jade PF 1901 Verte

70cl, 68%
Jade

A beautiful Verte Absinthe distilled by Jade. This particular spirit is based on a 1901 recipe created by one of the old absinthe legends before the spirit was banned. Great stuff!  More info

Jade PF 1901 Verte

Pernod et Fils Absinthe - late 1800s/early 1900s

70cl, 65%
Pernod

An absolutely staggeringly rare absinthe from the legendary Pernod et Fils, this was produced at some time in the late 1800s or early 1900s prior to the French absinthe ban of 1915. This is a…  More info

Pernod et Fils Absinthe - late 1800s/early 1900s
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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

La Maison Fontaine Blanche 56%

70cl, 56%
La Maison

Top class clear absinthe from La Maison Fontaine, bottled at 56%. This stuff is fantastic, with up-front notes of freshly picked mint and creamy lemon. Combine one part La Maison Fontaine Blanche to…  More info

La Maison Fontaine Blanche 56%

Enigma Rouge Absinthe

70cl, 68%
Enigma

A wonderfully flavoursome expression from the Enigma Absinthe range, boasting an enjoyable crimson hue. The base spirit for the Enigma range is made from grapes, and this particular expression has…  More info

Enigma Rouge Absinthe

Enigma Blanche Absinthe

70cl, 74%
Enigma

Enigma Blanche is an artisanal absinthe which was distilled in France from grape spirit, green anise, grande and petite wormwood, sweet fennel and hyssop, with additions of veronica, camomile,…  More info

Enigma Blanche Absinthe

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