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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.

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
$37.68

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
$42.87

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
$73.25

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
$51.91

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
$207.19

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
$75.88

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
$46.69

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
$93.78

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
$36.63

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
$41.64

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
$38.66

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
$36.20

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
$27.85

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
$65.47

Grande Absente

70cl, 69%
Distilleries et Domaines de Provence

Taking care to respect the legacy of the spirit, Distilleries Et Domaines De Provence create their Grande Absente Absinthe using a recipe that was devised prior to the spirit's ban, including…  More info

Grande Absente
$41.49

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
$80.39

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
$77.79

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
$79.55

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
$95.34

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
$42.00

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
$66.63

Two Birds Absinthe

70cl, 70%
Union Distillers

A little birdy told me you hadn't joined the absinthe renaissance yet. Well it turns out he and his mate make their own from a blend of wormwood and aniseed, which they bottle at 70% abv to lock all…  More info

Two Birds Absinthe
1
$45.58

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
$81.61

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
$41.71

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
$36.24

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