How To Mix & Prepare Absinthe

Metal Absinthe Fountain SetBefore we discus preparation and required absinthe accessories, lets learn a little about absinthe:

Herbs used to make absinthe remain dissolved in solution due to the high alcohol content. It must be mixed with water in your glass to release the herbs from this state. When water is added to your glass, the alcohol concentration falls. As this occurs, the aromas and flavors from the herbs are released from solution and the "Louche" is produced. The louche is the milky, opalescent, white appearance the drink takes as water is dripped into the glass. The process of adding water is very important. Adding water too quickly will not release all the intricate details of both aroma and taste. The process of louching involves adding water as slowly as possible to your glass. It is also of importance to note that the water used should be the purest and coldest available. Never use tap water as it often contains chlorine and other contaminants. Here is the correct way to prepare your Absinthe.

Step 1.)
Pour your dose of absinthe into your glass. Generally absinthe is mixed 1:3 to 1:5. Some glasses have a Dose Mark to make this easier and some glasses have a measuring reservoir.

Step 2)
Place your Spoon on top of the glass and place your Sugar Cube on the spoon. The Spoon is specially designed and has holes or slits to allow water to drip through it. Placing sugar on the spoon is optional. The herb wormwood is known for it's bitter taste and most Absintheurs use a little sugar to smooth it out. NOTE: It is a good idea to try each absinthe with and without sugar. This will give you a better idea of the true taste each absinthe has.

Step 3)
Slowly pour water from a Carafe over the sugar into the glass. As you pour the water and the Sugar Cube dissolves into the glass, the louche will form. Thee slower you pour, the better the drink will taste. There are Fountains specially designed that will drip water very slowly into your glass. A less expensive alternative to a fountain is a dripper or Brouilleur. Designed to sit atop your glass, drippers have small holes to slow the addition of water to the glass. As the water is added to your glass, you will notice the Absinthe change from clear to the louched state.

Absinthe Louching.jpg

At this point, I will mention what is called the "Flaming" or "Czech" method of Absinthe preparation. This is a new method of absinthe preparation rumored to have originated in the Czech Republic.

Step 1) Pour your dose of into your glass. Generally Absinthe is mixed 1:3 to 1:5. Some Absinthe Glasses have a Dose Mark to make this easier and some glasses have a measuring reservoir.

Step 2) Place your Spoon on top of the glass but before you put the Sugar Cube on top of the spoon, soak it in the Absinthe for a few seconds before placing it on the spoon.

Step 3) Light the Absinthe soaked Sugar Cube on fire and let it caramelize and drip through the spoon into the glass before you begin adding the water. Don't use your best glasses

Things to note when using this method. -High proof alcohol is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE! This is one of the reasons I must recommend against this method. Drunk people, flammable liquids and fire do not mix well. Also, using this method will damage spoons other than those made of Chrome or Stainless Steel. Do not use Premium Gold Plated or Silver Plated spoons. You may also want avoid using your favorite glasses. This method is frowned upon by those fancying themselves Absinthe Experts. My personal preference is to not burn my absinthe. I think it makes it taste funny. But there are those who claim to enjoy this taste. It also looks very cool after catching a good absinthe buzz. I believe the big anti-burn push came from a group trying to sell "Don't Burn Absinthe" t-shirts. So if you pay $150 for a bottle of liquor, drink it as you please.

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