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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.

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
1
$64.43

Redux Absinthe

75cl, 65%
Golden Moon

A well-made absinthe from Colorado's Golden Moon distillery, inspired by the distiller's years of research on the contentious spirit.  More info

Redux Absinthe
$65.66

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
$72.34

Trenet Premium Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Trenet

Trenet Premium is a popular, sweet absinthe.  More info

Trenet Premium Absinthe
$31.90

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
$36.89

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
$99.48

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

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
$46.89

The Absinthe Advent Calendar (2016 Edition)

72cl, 62.5%
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 (2016 Edition)
1
$150.39

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
$26.81

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
$44.73

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
$72.49

Cold-Distilled Absinthe

50cl, 91.2%
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
11
$64.43

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
$184.23

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
1

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

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
1

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

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

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
$34.61

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

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

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe 50cl

50cl, 68%
La Fée

A 50cl-sized bottle of La Fée's classic Parisienne style absinthe. This was awarded a silver medal at the 2003 International Spirits Challenge, and it is made to an original 19th century recipe.  More info

La Fée Parisienne Absinthe 50cl

Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe

50cl, 79%
Hapsburg

The Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe is bottled at the intense abv of 79% and is made with a recipe that include the most thujone legally allowed in alcoholic drinks in Europe, which is 35mg/kg.…  More info

Hapsburg Black Label Amere Absinthe

St. George Absinthe Verte 75cl

75cl, 60%
St. George Spirits

California's St. George Spirits were ready when the absinthe ban in America was lifted because the ban was only on selling absinthe, not actually distilling it. For 11 years, they therefore perfected…  More info

St. George Absinthe Verte 75cl

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