Introduction: The Absinthiliser

About: I like to explore new things and try out stuff. At the moment I'm in to electronics, BLE and LEDs.

The Absinthiliser is a device which enhances the sorcerous spirit of absinthe.
With the use of this device you will notice that you drink much less but instead watch your drink standing on this device. If you however chose to drink Absinthe: Drink responsibly and don't abuse alcohol!

But: Be aware of the power that might be released by the Absinthiliser!

Step 1: History

Absinthe (the green fairy) is a special spirit that is made from many different herbs and especially the herb Artemisia absinthium. Artemisia absinthium is one of the most bitter herbs and is traditionally used to cure stomach problems and enhance the digestion when brewed up as tea.

Absinthe often has a green color and a very high proof. It is often mistaken for a liquor and but normally it has no sugar added. So before drinking, sugar and water are added to the individual taste.

At the end of the 19th century Absinthe was a spirit that could be produced quite cheap in contrary to beer and wine. This led to an increase of alcoholism and finally to a ban of the Absinthe in several european countries at the beginning 20th century. One of the official reasons for this ban was the tale that Absinthe caused psychotics and other diseases. The 'thujon', one substance of content of the Absinthe, is indeed a psychoactive poison. But in the meantime it is common sense that Absinthe is not more dangerous than other spirits and many observed harmful effects were indeed only due to the alcohol and the bad quality of the alcohol in those times.. 

Absinthe became legal in most parts of the world again in the 1990's.
Read more details at

Step 2: Parts

The Absinthiliser needs only very few parts and is very easy to assemble.

For one Absinthiliser you need:

few pieces of wood 5x15mm, total length about 1m, cut to pieces of 2x 9cm, 2x 8cm and 4x 5.5cm.
4 springs of an old battery case
1 resistor (200-600 Ohm, depends on the LED)
1 micro switch (from old remote control)
1 acrylic board thickness: 2-5mm, size:

some glue for wood and cardboard
a soldering iron like this one for instance
a knife and a scissor
and some cardboard and decorative film if you like, or paint.

very helpful is also a hot glue gun.

Step 3: The Frame

The basic frame is made out of wood. The pattern is very simple but a bit difficult to glue.

Before you start gluing you should make the small notches as this is much more easy than afterward.

Just start gluing the outer square. This is quite simple and can be easily keep in place by some angle bracket or similar. Then glue the inner parts starting on one edge and use the pieces for the other edges as a spacer. Look at the fifth picture to see where the individual parts are pushed to.

And make sure that all parts are flat on the table! We don't want the glass to dangle! 

Step 4: Batteries

When the frame is totally glued it is time to install springs and the LED. The springs are connected to a flat counterpart for three of the four sides. This way the batteries (AA, 1.5V) are actually put in series and produce a total of 6V. More than enough to drive a single LED of any color. Four batteries are chosen because of symmetric reasons and to provide enough weight to produce a stable stand.

You can get the springs from old battery cases or other stuff. I had to buy me a 10xAA-battery case for 80ct. That was the cheapest with the most springs i could find... ;-)

Keep the spring and flat part in place with some hot glue!

Step 5: The LED

The first and the last connection to the battery are then connected to the circuit of LED, resistor and pushbutton.
The pushbutton is a very cheap one that you can find in old remote controls or even buy a new one. Depending on the cardboard with that you will close the bottom of the absinthiliser you need to file down the frame a bit, so that the pushbutton overlaps only for the part of a millimeter the button frame.
The LED and the resistor have to be installed somehow in the middle. You don't really need a cardboard or wooden fixation for this. Just make sure the LED points upwards.

To secure the batteries in the casing I took some scrap wood, but a piece of cardboard works too.

The housing of the button has to be adjusted so that only the button overlaps the lower cardboard. If you made the notch to deep, put some cardboard beneath the pushbutton. If it is to flat, deepen it ir use thicker cardboard for the lower side.

Step 6: Finalising

First glue the upper cardboard to the frame and let dry. It would be enough for the Absinthiliser to work, but as the most glasses are wet on the bottom, we want to protect the cardboard with some acrylic board. I chose all purpose glue at the edge to fix the acrylic board. Some glues may alter the surface of the acrylic glass! Don't use them.
The last step is to insert the batteries and then glue the lower cardboard to the bottom. You have to remove the cardboard to change the batteries, but with the small current the batteries will last for a long long time.

Step 7: What Does It Look Like?

Here are some picture of finished devices I made once in a while...

Step 8: Mods and Tweaks...

Once you know how to make an absinthiliser you can start modding and tweaking the idea.

It is very easy to change the color of the LED. 

On one absinthiliser I added a small electronics that keeps a small orange LED alight for a few minutes after you released the glass. This helps to recover the absinthiliser when drinking in total darkness.

On another absinthiliser I added some electronics to blink four small LEDs on the four sides. But I don't like that one, because it's so bustling.

You can also add several LEDs and activate them individually by a small switch.

Or use some rainbow RGB-LED. These ones change the color automatically and don't need any further electronics. But hey, that surely doesn't enhance anything, that's just for kids.

Step 9: If Your Mother Asks...

... what you're doing there with this magic Absinthiliser, you can also tell her you're studying hydromechanics. Or trying to observe Rayleigh-scattering in a liquid media.

If she continues, show her the effect: a very thin water-milk mixture on a white LED-Absinthiliser will look a bit red from the top and rather blue from the side. This is the same effect that makes the sky blue and the sunset red and is called Rayleigh-scattering. But don't say that you know this from me, instead rather vote for me at the epilog challenge! Just imagine what I could do with a laser cutter...  Thanks!

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