How to Serve Absinthe


Oscar Wilde, Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Baudelaire had something in common: they were all fiends for absinthe. Also called the "green fairy," absinthe was a spirit distilled with the herbs absinthe, anise, and fennel. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, drinking absinthe was almost a Bohemian fashion and so closely identified with rebellious art culture that many conservatives mounted campaigns against it. Today, with the correct preparation of absinthe, you are calling the ghosts of Wilde and Van Gogh. There are three preferred methods to prepare absinthe: louching, flame and modern.

Things You'll Need

  • Absinthe
  • Absinthe spoon
  • Water carafe with ice water
  • Sugar cube
  • Pontarlier reservoir glass
  • Match


  • Fill the glass with one shot of absinthe.

  • Put the spoon on top of the glass. Put the sugar cube on the spoon.

  • Pour three shots of cold water slowly over the sugar cube. The cold water will dissolve the sugar. When the sugar water hits the absinthe, the absinthe will turn milky in appearance. This is called the louche, or louching.

  • Sit down. Look Bohemian. Drink.


  • Fill a glass with one shot of absinthe.

  • Dip a sugar cube in the absinthe quickly and pull it out. Light the sugar cube with a match over the drink. The sugar cube will burn and melt into the absinthe below.

  • When the sugar quits burning, drop the remainder in the absinthe.

  • Sit down. Look Bohemian. Drink.


  • Fill the glass with one shot of absinthe.

  • Mix one teaspoon of table sugar with three shots of ice water.

  • Pour the ice water into the absinthe.

  • This one you can carry around, and you need not look Bohemian.

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  • Photo Credit verre d'alcool image by RomainQuéré from
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