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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
$26.67
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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
$27.34

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
1
$27.76

Absinthe Tasting Set

15cl, 58.6%
Drinks by the Dram

A spirit steeped in infamy and history, Absinthe requires little introduction. Nicknamed La Fée Verte (The Green Fairy), Absinthe is distilled from the herb Grande Wormwood, and has a bittersweet,…  More info

Absinthe Tasting Set
$31.73

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
$31.73

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
$32.82

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
$35.06

Hapsburg Quartier Latin - Black Fruits of the Forest

50cl, 53.5%
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
1
$38.36
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Trenet Premium Absinthe

70cl, 60%
Trenet

Trenet Premium is a popular, sweet absinthe.  More info

Trenet Premium Absinthe
$39.44
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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
$43.67
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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
$43.78
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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
$44.53

Murmichan Scottish Absinthe

50cl, 64%
Murmichan

The following shouldn't really come as a surprise to you - Scotland is quite well-known for its whisky but not particularly well-known for its absinthe. This might change with the introduction of…  More info

Murmichan Scottish Absinthe
$44.88
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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
$44.88
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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
$45.62

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
4
$47.26

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
$49.30

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
$49.59

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
4
$51.10
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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
$53.64
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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
$53.69
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Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Red Summer Fruits

50cl, 89.9%
Hapsburg

Hapsburg has proven to be one of the most pioneering brands to produce Absinthe after the resurgence of the famous spirit. This red summer fruits edition from the Hapsburg XC range exemplifies this.…  More info

Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Red Summer Fruits
$54.74

Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Black Fruits of the Forest

50cl, 89.9%
Hapsburg

A high strength (89.9% ABV!) flavoured absinthe from the popular Hapsburg Quartier Latin range. It's an intense and intriguing spirit that was flavoured with "Black Fruits of the Forest". Make sure…  More info

Hapsburg Absinthe XC - Black Fruits of the Forest
$54.74

Tempus Fugit Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe

70cl, 65%
Tempus Fugit Spirits

Vieux Pontarlier is a historical absinthe distilled in our alembic stills that are over 100 years old! It contains regional wormwood (called Artemisia absinthium), and absolutely no sugar is added.…  More info

Tempus Fugit Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe
$54.78

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
$57.77
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