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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.

Pére Kermann's Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Pére Kermann

Pére Kermann is an absinthe made with wormwood extract. It's a bright blue shooter, so don't expect any louche folks!  More info

Pére Kermann's Absinthe
$27.92

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
$89.10

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
$188.96

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
$69.20

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
$42.58

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
$33.41

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
$35.26

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
$33.01

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
$34.38

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
$73.11

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
$38.31

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
$39.07

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
$86.95

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
$58.09

The Absinthe Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)

72cl, 63.80%
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 (2015 Edition)
$148.75

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
$54.63

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
$66.81

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
$39.10

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
$39.07

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
$47.37

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
$43.27

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
$37.97

Hapsburg Absinthe Classic

50cl, 72.50%
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
$38.11

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
$74.43

La Maison Fontaine Blanche

70cl, 56%
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
$60.76

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