How to drink Absinthe
There are different ways to prepare and drink your glass of Absinthe. Check out the following videos explaining how Absinthe is (and is not) properly prepared. We recommend the Classic French Absinthe Ritual to get started. Later, as soon as you are fascinated by Absinthe and its ways of preparation, you should use an Absinthe Fountain. It is the most fascinating of all the rituals listed.
French Absinthe Ritual
The French Ritual is comparable with the preparation of Pastis Pernod or Ricard, the follower or substitute of Absinthe after its prohibition. You put one or two sugar cubes on an Absinthe spoon, place it over the glass and fill it with an amount of Absinthe (2 to 4 cl, about a tenth pint). Then gently water is poured over the spoon. The green Absinthe begins to louche into white sage.
Pipe Absinthe Ritual
The Slipstream Absinthe Pipe was invented to bring together a convenient modern day Absinthe experience that embraces the traditional roots of the Absinthe louche ritual. First you have to pour Absinthe into the pipe. Then sugar and ice cubes are added. Finally you fill the pipe with water. Now the magic effect begins to start: The green Absinthe ascents in white swirls into the upper chamber which is filled with the ice cubes and water. After the louche effect is over you have to blow into the pipe to completely mix the Absinthe with the water. Do not forget this step, otherwise you will drink neat Absinthe!
Bohemian/Czech Fire Absinthe Ritual
(..and why you should avoid it)
Meanwhile, the Bohemian/Czech (Fire) Ritual of drinking Absinthe has
become very popular. You put one or two sugar cubes on an Absinthe spoon
and pour Absinthe over it. Then you light up the sugar and wait until
the flames caramelize it. The sugar drips into the glass and blends with
the Green Fairy. Then water is added to create the Louche. We do not
recommend this ritual. The fine taste of Absinthe is negatively
effected by the caramelization of the sugar and the whole preparation
can end in an disaster...
Brouille Absinthe Ritual
A Brouille is a small glass lid, which you place over your Absinthe glass. It is then filled with ice cubes and water. The water gets cooled and flows through a small hole in the bottom of the Brouille into the Absinthe glass. The Brouille is very easy to use and you get one of the best cloudy louches, because of the extremly thin beam of water.
Fountain Absinthe Ritual
Absinthe Fountains are authentic Absinthe accessories which were used in French bistros during the time of the Belle Epoque. To prepare your glass of Absinthe you first have to fill the glass bowl with ice and water. Then you place your Absinthe glass, spoon and sugar under the spigots and use the constant drop to dissolve the sugar cube. The sugared water blends with the Absinthe and a perfect louche is created: You can watch the Green Fairy evoking slowly in greenish-white swirls. The Absinthe Fountain ritual is really the most fascinating way of preparing a glass of Absinthe!
Brouilleur "Auto Verseurs" Absinthe Ritual
Instead of an Absinthe Fountain you can also use an Absinthe Brouilleur. The water flows over a see saw into the Absinthe while you listen to the mechanical "tic tac" sound of this Absinthe accessory.
Bouilleur "Two Level" Absinthe Ritual
The "Two Level" Brouilleur is like the "Auto Verseurs" an authentic Absinthe accessory especially made for the tech-fascinated Absintheur.
Brouilleur "Streamline" Absinthe Ritual
The "Streamline" Brouilleur is for the "inside out" Absinthe preparation. First you have to fill the glass with water and then you fill in the Absinthe using the little cup of the Absinthe Brouilleur, which injects a shot of Absinthe into the water and creates a swirly louche.
Interesting Info: Ernest Hemingway usually prefered a variation with champagne instead of water. There is an infinite variety of Absinthe cocktails, the first historically reported cocktail (the so called Sazerac) was an Absinthe cocktail. You find the recipe in our list of Absinthe Cocktails.