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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.

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
$39.19

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
$37.13

Adnams Absinthe Rouge

50cl, 66%
Adnams

Adnams' Head Distiller John McCarthy became fascinated with the dark and mysterious world of absinthe whilst touring the bars of the United Kingdom and as a result created this, his homage to the…  More info

Adnams Absinthe Rouge
$43.43

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
$43.43

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
$52.64

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
17
$73.44

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
$64.56

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
$80.63

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
$36.74

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
$42.21

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
$78.85

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
$43.45

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
$66.36

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
$82.72

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
$85.40

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
$83.09

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
2
$82.63

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
$81.48

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
$47.94

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
3
$52.79

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
$47.32

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
$28.22

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
$51.29

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
$112.43

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
$96.64

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