How to Drink Absinthe.




Absinthe was a very popular drink during the 1800's, and especially during the impressionistic art movement. It was said that the wormwood in the drink would cause the consumer to hallucinate, and because of this, it was nicknamed "la fée verte" or The Green Fairy in French. These days studies have shown that wormwood doesn't really cause hallucinations, and that they were probably caused by poisonous adulterants in cheaper versions of the drink. It was banned in the USA for a time, but in 2007 it was approved to be sold under certain regulations.

Warning: If you don't like licorice, don't drink this, because that's what it tastes like! Also, Don't drink if your under 21, or if you happen to be in another country where the drinking age is lower, go ahead.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

A Pontarlier glass ( I have included a picture above. I don't have one, so I just used a wine glass, but pontarlier glasses were used traditionally)

Absinthe (of course)

Sugar cubes

Ice cold spring water

Absinthe spoon (they usually come with the absinthe, but if not... I dunno. Try a fork, maybe...)

A shot glass for measuring

A lighter or matches

Ice cubes (optional)

Step 2: Measure Out Your Absinthe

then pour it into your glass.

Step 3: Dip the Sugar Cube Into the Absinthe

then place the spoon over the glass and set the cube over the holes in the spoon (or the tongs on your fork).


Using your trusty lighter (or matches), light the sugar cube on fire. Then slowly trickle the cold water over the cube until it dissolves. It helps if you let it burn for a bit because then it will dissolve more readily.

Step 5: Stir the Absinthe

As you may have noticed, the drink has turned from a clear emerald, to a light cloudy green. You may add some ice cubes, but that's not how it originally would've been drunk, and absinthe connoisseurs will turn up their noses at you.

Step 6: Time to Go Enjoy Some Impressionist Art

Drink your absinthe and ponder life while viewing impressionist art. Maybe you can break out the old paint set, and make some art of your own. You can paint haystacks or lily pads. Just, don't cut your ear off, please.

Also, here is a link to the The Infernal Galop from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld if you want to listen to that to set the mood while you make the drink.



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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    ptsuk is right, the ban was protectionism at its finest.

    BTW hallucinations are not such a fun thing most of the time either, a mate of mine once told me...

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    It depends much on the environment and your state of mind when you hallucinate. Hallucinating because you are ill is not fun. But hallucinating with a few good friends in the privacy of your own home can be mindblowingly wonderful. (Allegedly ?)


    4 years ago

    Sorry but that's the worst way to drink absinthe. If you want to make a show that's perfect (and nothing wrong with that) but you are losing a lot of flavors. Also you don't have real absinthe just an herbal liquor. Try to get Larusée brand absinthe if possible.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Cool! Thank you! I'll try that brand! :D (I'm still just a beginner.)


    Reply 4 years ago

    For what I know the way you prepare it are the way some bar tender start to serve it in tcheck Republic during the 90's. That's kind of make absinthe popular (and thanks for that). Sadly it's not the best way to serve it (but in a bad when the bartender prepare ten absinthe at the same time it's pretty cool).

    Some quick advice:
    -best absinthe are from Switzerland. - Avoid everything who have a name close from absinthe (absente, absence...) some of them are good drink but they are not absinthe. -
    -Prepare the absinthe the classic way with really cold water and drink it slowly. The flavor will change with the temperature of the drink

    At the end if you prefer your way that's perfect but at least try the classic way once ;)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Traditional method of drinking it doesn't involve flame and you want to drip ice water into the cube/liquid to get the absinthe to "louche" and turn cloudy.

    From wikipedia (and a book I have on how to consume Absinthe and the history behind it and its ban)

    The Bohemian Method is a recent invention that involves fire, and was not performed during absinthe's peak of popularity in the Belle Époque. Like the French method, a sugar cube is placed on a slotted spoon over a glass containing one shot of absinthe. The sugar is pre-soaked in alcohol (usually more absinthe), then set ablaze. The flaming sugar cube is then dropped into the glass, thus igniting the absinthe. Finally, a shot glass of water is added to douse the flames. This method tends to produce a stronger drink than the French method. A variant of the Bohemian Method involves allowing the fire to extinguish on its own. This variant is sometimes referred to as "Cooking the Absinthe" or "The Flaming Green Fairy." The origin of this burning ritual may borrow from a coffee and brandy drink that was served at Café Brûlot, in which a sugar cube soaked in brandy was set aflame.[59] Most experienced absintheurs do not recommend the Bohemian Method and consider it a modern gimmick, as it can destroy the absinthe flavour and present a fire hazard due to the unusually high alcohol content present in absinthe.

    The ban was wholeheartedly created by and called for by the wine industry at the time because in paris Absinthe was the drink of choice. Absinthe was cheap and easy to make and was high in alcohol, so very much the drink of the poor man. The high alcohol content was the main reason for the "troublesome nature" of various people who consumed too much Absinthe, and not the notorious wormwood, which the wine industry used to get the drink banned by falsely claiming that it made people hallucinate and go crazy. So that's the reason it was banned.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    oh and here is a link to my comparisons (and a little history as well) on when I picked up a bottle of Absinthe back on the day in 2007 when it first became legal again in the US :)


    4 years ago

    Probably the first instructable that made me laugh. Very well done. i need to get myself some absinthe more.