How to Serve Absinthe

How to Cocktail: Absinthe

Rumor has it that drinking absinthe can drive you mad, but Simon Ford reveals the truth behind this 200-year-old elixir. Learn how to use an absinthe fountain and how to serve the spirit the traditional way.


  • Ice water
  • 1 to 1.5 oz Absinthe
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • Glass: Absinthe

Fill an absinthe fountain with ice water. Pour the absinthe into an absinthe glass and place an absinthe spoon topped with the sugar cube across the rim. Position the glass under a spigot of the fountain and slowly drip water over the sugar cube until the sugar dissolves and the absinthe turns completely opaque. (You will need roughly 5 ounces of water per ounce of absinthe). Stir briefly before serving.




  • nissanenthusiast.c64029a posted 1 year ago

    To the poster saying that pernod is not real absinthe, you have no idea what you're talking about. The "old" pre ban absinthe was considered to have more thujone, a paralytic in high doses. Tests of pre ban absinthe to modern ones has shown that there is essentially no difference in thujone levels. Modern absinthe is just as good, if not better, than pre ban stuff. I will concede, however, that pernod is not a good absinthe, it is likely one of the better commonly available brands. If you can get it, look for pacifique, a traditional absinthe made in Woodinville, Wa. It is highly regarded as one of the best absinthes on earth, and no more expensive than pernod. Dipping the sugar cube in the absinthe and setting it on fire is called "bohemian" style, but it imparts nothing but charred, bitter flavors. Absinthe was banned because of, primarily, a smear campaign by the then- floundering french wine industry, and some bourgeois ansinthes were colored green with poisonous compounds, hence the reports of "madness", which is certainly not the fault of absinthe. It is a completely safe drink, the wormwood is actually a mild antiparasitic and analgesic. I have drank absinthe for years as my favorite beverage, and a pitcher of ice cold water works fine, just make sure to pour very slowly or the solids will not precipitate (called the louche) and the drink will not have that creamy mouthfeel. Pacifique will louche much more dramatically than pernod. A fabulous beverage, properly diluted it will have similar ABV to a glass of wine, so a bottle of great absinthe, while expensive, will last forever. You do not need special glasses, spoons, or an absinthe well, just a good absinthe and good cold water (cold is important for the louche to happen properly) the rest is for convenience and drama.

  • d.l.mann posted 2 years ago

    That's Pernod absinthe that he's using - they make both absinthe and pastis (although they sell a lot more pastis than anything else)

  • Steve Baldwin posted 2 years ago

    Absinthe was illegal at one time but that is some years ago. Pernod (& Ricard) are not Absinthe so not sure why the barman is using Pernod

  • valwildergmailcom1342419123 posted 2 years ago

    You don't flame the sugar cube because it makes the whole drink taste like shit. This is hands down the most common misconception about La Fee Verte and not to mention stupid as shit.. The stuff is usually 55% or higher alcohol.

  • Cobb posted 2 years ago

    This really makes me want to try absinthe. My ex-wife was under the impression that it was illegal to sell it..

  • Tariq posted 2 years ago

    why did not u flame the sugar cube so the sugar will be dissolved more quickly

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