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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.

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
$54.41
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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
$45.48
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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
$69.72
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Corsair Red

75cl, 56%
Corsair

You might associate absinthe with the colour green rather than red, but the chaps at Corsair are well-accustomed to trying something a little different than the norm. Their Red Absinthe is based…  More info

Corsair Red
$66.13
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Loch Ness Absinthe

50cl, 53%
Loch Ness Spirits

Loch Ness Absinthe was created by husband and wife team Lorien and Kevin Cameron-Ross, a doctor and retired detective. The duo crafted this spirit using wormwood, juniper and mint, all hand-picked…  More info

Loch Ness Absinthe
1
$50.25

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
$72.13
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Eternal Absinthe

50cl, 69%
The Gin Kitchen

Distilled to 69% ABV, Eternal Absinthe was created by Gin Kitchen with an addition of rose petals, which change the colour of this variety, which can also be called a red (rouge) or pink (rose)…  More info

Eternal Absinthe
$76.62

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
1
$33.26

Psychopomp Absinthe

35cl, 62.3%
Psychopomp

Here we have an absinthe from those Psychopomp folks over in Bristol (a psychopomp is a being who escorts the dead to the afterlife). This absinthe contains hyssop, dill seed, anise and fennel seed…  More info

Psychopomp Absinthe
$32.15

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
1
$58.54
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Trenet Premium Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Trenet

Trenet Premium is a popular, sweet absinthe.  More info

Trenet Premium Absinthe
$39.96
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La Maison Fontaine Blanche

70cl, 55%
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
$62.88
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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
$77.30
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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
$45.12
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Morveren Absinthe

35cl, 66%
Pocketful of Stones

Plenty of delicious things come from Cornwall, but the Pocketful of Stones folks have added a new thing to that list - absinthe! Morveren Absinthe is made using wormwood grown in Cornwall, alongside…  More info

Morveren Absinthe
$54.35
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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
$106.33
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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
$35.52

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
$78.40
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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
2
$66.57
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Bareksten Illsint Absint

50cl, 60%
Bareksten Spirits

From the same folks who brought you Bareksten Gin, here comes a slightly stronger spirit. Produced at Norway's Oss Craft Distillery, Bareksten Absint sports a punchy 60% ABV. Their sleek, black…  More info

Bareksten Illsint Absint
3
$49.96

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
$104.11
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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
$27.02
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Jade Esprit 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 Esprit Edouard Verte
2
$81.74
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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
$46.22

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
3
$76.74

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