Today’s topic is a question that a good number of people are dealing with in regards to preparing and consuming Absinthe, especially Absintheurs that are new to the world of Absinthe. That is why we want to address it in order to make it easier for you to understand what this is about.
Absinthe Sugar & the Absinthe Ritual
As most of you know, the sugar (cube) is a big part of any ritual, no matter which one you chose to use. Make sure to check out our other Blogposts about Absinthe Rituals, in order to get an overview about the different ones, as well as the Do’s and Do Nots of preparing Absinthe.
Absinthe Sugar: Do I need it?
A lot of times the question, whether one actually needs the sugar (cubes), arises. So why do you take sugar at all?
When Absinthe was becoming popular, we are talking about the 19th century, people loved sweet things. People didn’t think of low-carb or any other modern diets, they simply consumed what they loved. Sugar was like a candy, people loved it. Additionally, Absinthe is quite a strong drink and sugar can mask the high alcoholic volume as well as a bitter taste, resulting of the wormwood plant. All in all, people often drank Absinthe with lots of sugar, more cubes than we actually use today!
Still nowadays, people actually love the sugar in their Absinthe, especially being used to commercial lemonades and other soft drinks that contain a good amount of sugar. Adding to the factor of taste, some people also like the history behind Absinthe, i.e. using the Absinthe spoon & sugar ritual. They enjoy the process of preparing their drink just as much as the drink itself.
Absinthe without Sugar: Why?
Experienced Absintheurs often skip the sugar. They do it, because they want to drink the pure drink without the mascerade of sweetness. There are also some Absinthe brands, that are easier to drink without sugar. These are often the white, uncolored Blanche Absinthes. As these Absinthes skip the coloring process with additional herbs, their taste is often softer in comparison to green Absinthes.
You can also say, the lower the alcoholic volume, the more you should try Absinthe without adding sugar cubes. A typical example are the Swiss La Bleue Absinthes. You drink them without sugar, as they only have 53% alc. by vol. Additionally, they use a lot of anise, which already gives the Absinthe a sweet note.
Are you aware of the other way of preparing Absinthe with a good sweetness but without sugar cubes? Make sure to check out how to prepare an Absinthe Gommée!
Nico from the ALANDIA-Team