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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.

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
$25.40

Trenet Premium Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Trenet

Trenet Premium is a popular, sweet absinthe.  More info

Trenet Premium Absinthe
$32.72

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
$74.35

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
$41.57

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
$101.16

St. George Absinthe Verte 20cl

20cl, 60%
St. George Spirits

This is a 20cl bottle of St. George Absinthe Verte, made by infusing brandy with star anise, wormwood and fennel, then distilling it, and then a second infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon…  More info

St. George Absinthe Verte 20cl
$26.40

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
$39.13

Quaglia Assenzio del Professore

70cl, 72%
Antica Distilleria Quaglia

An absinthe from Italian liqueur and grappa producer Quaglia made with wormwood, coriander, mint, camomile, angelica and fennel seeds bottled at 72% abv.  More info

Quaglia Assenzio del Professore
$44.03

Sebor Absinth

50cl, 55%
Sebor

Packaged in a unique, distinctive bottle, Sebor Absinth is an incredibly popular spirit, made by blending 13 herbs to a century-old Swiss recipe. The result is a rich, mellow, spicy absinth, at the…  More info

Sebor Absinth
2
$27.92

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
$73.32

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
$33.05

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
$70.95

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
$47.39

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
$34.36

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
$67.18

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
$76.84

Cold-Distilled Absinthe

50cl, 91.20%
Ableforth's

A supremely delicious absinthe from Ableforth's. This fine spirit is made by macerating a selection of superb botanicals in English wheat spirit. These botanicals include traditional fare such as…  More info

Cold-Distilled Absinthe
18
$66.08

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
$47.34

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
2
$3306.75

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
$66.76

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
2
$26.14

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
$78.89

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
$35.50

Angelique Verte Absinthe

70cl, 68%
La Clandestine

A verte Swiss Absinthe made using a dozen different botanicals. This is a classic style of Absinthe, designed for true connoisseurs. It was named after creator Claude-Alain Bugnon's daughter, and…  More info

Angelique Verte Absinthe
2
$61.12

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
$66.08

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