Absinthe Preparation

Absinthe Preparation

Absinthe Preparation - Absinthe Poster
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2969474

When it comes to Absinthe preparation, there is a common misconception in the way that it should be done. Many say that it should be done by burning a sugar cube over your glass of absinthe. Now, don’t get me wrong, that one of the ways to prepare the scrummy drink. It is not however, the traditional method. The tradition method is the original French way. Try them all and see what you like the best the taste does change depending in the method that you use.


Absinthe Preparation - Absinthe Fountain
By Autopilot – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7013218

Although there is specific equipment that you can use when preparing your drink, it is not needed. You can use whatever you have available to be honest and it will still taste delicious. That’s only if you like Absinthe of course. We will however go through the equipment that has been designed purely for Absinthe.

Absinthe Spoons – these elaborate spoons are designed so that you can perch a sugar cube on the top.  There is a lip near the centre of the spoon to allow it to rest on the glass without falling off. The spoon is slotted to allow the dissolved sugar to fall into the glass and mix with the liquor.

Absinthe Glass – these glasses were typically relatively small glasses that had some kind of indication as to the amount of liquid to be added to the glass. This marker was often in the way of a blue line around the glass or some kind if internal bubble. The usual dose was around 2.5 fl oz which is just short of 2 shots or cocktail jiggers.

Absinthe Fountain – this is the final piece in the collection and is used in the French method of making the drink. The fountain allows the user to slowly drip water over the sugar cube, preparing the perfect drink.

How To Prepare Your Absinthe

Here are the 2 well known and main ways of preparing the green delight.

The traditional French method

– this preparation involves placing a white sugar cube atop a slotted absinthe spoon and then placing said spoon on top of your chosen glass that has a measure of absinthe in. Iced water is then poured or dripped over the sugar cube which then mixes with the absinthe.

As the water dilutes the spirit and the sugar infuses the drink, the components of the Absinthe that have poor water solubility (i.e. the botanics) come out of solution and cloud the drink. The result of this clouding is a milky opalescence  which is called the Louche which means opaque or shady in French. Not only do you get the louche but also, the release of these essences coincides with the wonderful herby aroma of the drink. When this happens, it brings out subtleties within the drink that would otherwise be missed from other methods of preparation or by drinking it neat.

The bohemian method

– this method is not nearly as old or as used as the French method and is mainly used by those trying to be fashionable.  Just like the French method, a sugar cube is placed onto a slotted spoon atop the glass. The sugar cube will have already been pre-soaked in absinthe. The sugar cube is then lit. The flaming sugar cube is then dropped into the glass igniting  the absinthe. A shot of water is then added to douse the flames. This method tends to produce a stronger drink however, it does not bring out the same flavours.
A slight variation of the bohemian method is the “Flaming Green Fairy” which instead of dousing the flames with a shot of water, leaves the flames to extinguish them selves.  This method really can destroy the classic absinthe flavour.

However you drink your absinthe, don’t forget to get a nice hip flask to carry it around.