The traditional way of serving Absinthe is to use a method called The Ritual and to dilute it with water. Some people are bored of drinking Absinthe in this way and want to know what to mix Absinthe with. I hope that this information will help you to enjoy Absinthe even more.
Absinthe is a strong liquor which is flavored with natural herbs including grande wormwood (artemisia absinthium), aniseed and fennel. It also sometimes contains petite wormwood (artemisia pontica). The aniseed gives the drink its wonderful anise taste and the wormwood gives the Absinthe its characteristic bitter or slightly sour taste.
Grande wormwood contains thujone, named 3 thujamone or 3 sabinone by the book The IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry. Thujone is a ketone and a monoterpene like the other terpenes, menthol and camphor. Other names that thujone extracted from wormwood has been referred to as are Absinthol, salvinol and tanacetone.
Thujone is the reason why Absinthe was banned in many countries in the early 1900s. It was the thujone that was blamed for the insanity and suicide of Van Gogh and many artists and writers claimed that drinking Absinthe gave them their genius and inspiration through dreams and hallucinations. The famous Absinthe drinker Oscar Wilde said of Absinthe:
“After the first glass of Absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” Who knows what would happen after a whole bottle?!
We now know that Absinthe is no more dangerous than any other strong spirit like vodka and whisky, although it is twice the strength. Research has shown that Absinthe only contains traces of thujone and that it is not possible to consume enough Absinthe for thujone to have any negative or harmful effects. It will not cause you to hallucinate or go insane and is now legal in most countries. It is still illegal in Ireland but the Irish can order it from abroad and get it shipped for personal consumption.
You can make your very own bottled Absinthe by using Absinthe essences from AbsintheKit.com. These essences are made by distilling traditional Absinthe herbs and all you have to do is to mix them with vodka or Everclear – an easy and economical way to make Absinthe.
What to Mix Absinthe With
Now that Absinthe is legal in most countries, we can experiment with using it in cocktails or make classic Absinthe cocktails such as the New Orleans Sazerac or Death in the Afternoon.
1 teaspoon of a good quality Absinthe
A sugar cube or 1 teaspoon of sugar.
1 ½ ounces of Rye whisky (not bourbon)
3 dashes of angostura bitters
1 Lemon peel twist
Freeze a glass in your freezer.
Swirl the Absinthe around the glass to coat the sides and bottom of the glass. Discard (or drink!) the excess.
Put the other ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixer and shake for about ½ a minute.
Pour into the glass, adding the lemon peel.
Death in the Afternoon
5 ounces of chilled champagne mixed with 1 ounce of Absinthe – delicious!
Some people like to use mixers such as lemonade, 7UP and cherryade with their Absinthe and I have even heard of Red Bull being mixed with Absinthe! Be inventive when deciding what to mix Absinthe with, use recipes off the Internet but give them your own twist or make up your own. Have fun.