The 10 best Absinthe cocktail recipes

Introduction

Unveil the Mystique of Absinthe in Mixology!

Absinthe, often dubbed as the 'Green Fairy', has intrigued and inspired mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts for centuries.

Originating in the late 18th century, this potent spirit is renowned for its distinctive flavor, derived from various herbs, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (wormwood). Its complex character adds depth and intrigue to cocktails, making it a revered ingredient in the mixology world. From its rumored psychoactive properties to its ban and eventual resurgence in the 21st century, Absinthe's history is as rich and complex as its flavor. This listicle explores the top 10 cocktails that beautifully harness the unique essence of Absinthe, ranging from refreshing and floral to deep and herbaceous concoctions.

Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or a curious newcomer, these recipes promise to elevate your cocktail-making game and introduce you to the beguiling world of Absinthe.

Top 10 Absinthe cocktails

  • · · · · · ·   Death In The Afternoon
  • · · · · · ·   Monkey Gland
  • · · · · · ·   Sazerac
  • · · · · · ·   Rattle Snake
  • · · · · · ·   Zombie Punch
  • · · · · · ·   Aunt Roberta
  • · · · · · ·   Turf Club
  • · · · · · ·   Green Swizzle
  • · · · · · ·   Corpse Reviver No.2
  • · · · · · ·   Absinthe Drip

Conclusion

More about Absinthe

1. Death In The Afternoon

This unique cocktail pairs the anise-flavored absinthe with the effervescence of champagne, using a touch of sugar syrup to soften the absinthe's intensity. The result is a mesmerizing blend that is as intriguing in flavor as it is in history, often associated with the avant-garde artists of early 20th century Paris.

Ingredients

10ml ⅓oz 1cl
135ml 4.56oz 13.5cl
Teaspoon Teaspoon Teaspoon
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2. Monkey Gland

With a name as intriguing as its composition, this cocktail mixes the anise-flavored absinthe and sweet grenadine with gin’s botanical base, creating a refreshing drink with a hint of mystique. Born in the roaring 20s, it symbolizes the whimsical and sometimes risqué nature of its time, offering a unique flavor profile that challenges the palate and rewards the adventurous drinker. The gin, with its complex botanicals, perfectly complements the other ingredients, resulting in a cocktail that is both invigorating and enigmatic.

Ingredients

2 drops 2 drops 2 drops
30ml 1oz 3cl
50ml 1⅔oz 5cl
2 drops 2 drops 2 drops
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3. Sazerac

Harnessing the classic New Orleans flavor, this cocktail marries the sweetness of sugar and the rustic warmth of cognac with the aromatic punch of absinthe. The addition of Peychaud's Bitters introduces a floral complexity that complements absinthe’s botanical notes. Revered as one of the first cocktails to employ absinthe, it showcases the spirit's role in the early days of cocktail development, marking it as a cornerstone of classic mixology. It’s a quintessential example of balance and sophistication in a glass.

Ingredients

10ml ⅓oz 1cl
1 cube 1 cube 1 cube
50ml 1⅔oz 5cl
2 dashes 2 dashes 2 dashes
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4. Rattle Snake

A dash of absinthe adds an electrifying twist to this whiskey-based cocktail. The combination of lemon juice, rye whiskey, and egg white creates a creamy, silky texture with a sharp citrus bite, while the absinthe introduces a subtle but unmistakable layer of complexity. This cocktail’s origin traces back to the early 20th century, embodying the spirit of innovation and the era's experimental approach to cocktail crafting. It's a testament to the power of absinthe to transform a drink with just a few drops.

Ingredients

Dash Dash Dash
22.5ml ¾oz 2.3cl
52.5ml 1.79oz 5.3cl
1 egg white 1 egg white 1 egg white
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5. Zombie Punch

As complex as its name suggests, this cocktail is a symphony of flavors where grenadine plays a critical role, adding a layer of sweetness that cuts through the potency of multiple rums and the tartness of citrus juices. Grenadine's inclusion not only binds these robust ingredients together but also contributes to the drink's iconic appearance, underscoring the indispensable role it plays in creating visually and gustatorily compelling cocktails.

Ingredients

15ml ½oz 1.5cl
15ml ½oz 1.5cl
30ml 1oz 3cl
Dash Dash Dash
30ml 1oz 3cl
Dash Dash Dash
30ml 1oz 3cl
15ml ½oz 1.5cl
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6. Aunt Roberta

This cocktail is a powerhouse of strength, blending gin with a bold array of spirits, including absinthe and brandy, to create a drink not for the faint-hearted. It captures the essence of its eponymous creator's flamboyant and unapologetic spirit. The dominance of gin in this audaciously strong mixture ensures that its botanical notes stand firm against the potent flavors of the accompanying spirits, showcasing gin's ability to hold its own in one of the strongest cocktails ever concocted. A tribute to gin’s robustness and versatility, it's a liquid ode to courage and boldness.

Ingredients

30ml 1oz 3cl
90ml 3.04oz 9cl
60ml 2oz 6cl
45ml 1½oz 4.5cl
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7. Turf Club

With its roots in the genteel clubs of the 19th century, this cocktail blends white vermouth, gin, and a dash of absinthe to create a smooth, refined taste. The inclusion of orange bitters and maraschino cherry liqueur adds depth and a hint of sweetness, tempering the absinthe’s intensity. The absinthe acts as a botanical whisper in the background, elevating the drink's complexity without overpowering the delicate balance of flavors. It's a sophisticated choice that reflects the elegance of its origins.

Ingredients

45ml 1½oz 4.5cl
Dash Dash Dash
45ml 1½oz 4.5cl
Dash Dash Dash
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8. Green Swizzle

A spirited concoction that captures the boldness of its namesake, this drink features a potent mix of rums and liqueurs, elevated by the sharpness of lime juice. The inclusion of absinthe adds a layer of complexity, creating a cocktail that's as intriguing as it is enjoyable. It's a nod to the adventurous spirit of cocktail crafting, showcasing how lime juice can play a pivotal role in balancing intense flavors, ensuring each sip is as exhilarating as the last.

Ingredients

10ml ⅓oz 1cl
30ml 1oz 3cl
25ml 0.85oz 2.5cl
15ml ½oz 1.5cl
5ml 0.17oz 0.5cl
5ml 0.17oz 0.5cl
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9. Corpse Reviver No.2

This cocktail stands as a hallmark of balance and rejuvenation, combining dry gin, triple sec, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, and a careful dash of absinthe. The absinthe's botanical sharpness potently complements the sweetness of triple sec and the crispness of Lillet Blanc, with lemon juice adding a bright acidity. Originating from the early 20th century, it was conceived as a hangover cure, embodying the innovation and elegance of the era's cocktail culture. The absinthe, though used sparingly, brings a vibrant layer of depth, tying the drink’s disparate elements into a harmonious blend.

Ingredients

22.5ml ¾oz 2.3cl
22.5ml ¾oz 2.3cl
22.5ml ¾oz 2.3cl
22.5ml ¾oz 2.3cl
2 dashes 2 dashes 2 dashes
2.5ml 0.1oz 0.3cl
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10. Absinthe Drip

Simplicity at its finest, this cocktail celebrates absinthe in its most traditional form. Absinthe is diluted with water pouring over a sugar cube, highlighting its natural sweetness and complexity. The ritual of preparing the drip, where water slowly dissolves the sugar into the absinthe, is as much a part of the experience as the drinking itself. This method allows the absinthe’s botanicals to bloom, offering a nuanced exploration of its flavors, from the initial herbal burst to the sweet, smooth finish.

Ingredients

1 cube 1 cube 1 cube
30ml 1oz 3cl
60ml 2oz 6cl
This ingredient has been discontinued, too rare or not relevant to be included in our My Bar functionality
Go to recipe

Conclusion

Our curated selection of the top 10 Absinthe-infused cocktails showcases the spirit's versatility and capacity to transform a simple drink into something truly extraordinary.

From the refreshing zest of the Green Swizzle to the deep complexity of the Aunt Roberta, each cocktail on this list has been carefully chosen for its unique ability to highlight Absinthe's multifaceted character. These recipes not only pay homage to the traditional uses of Absinthe but also explore innovative ways to incorporate this enigmatic ingredient into modern mixology. The chosen cocktails stand out for their historical significance, flavor profiles, and the way they embody the spirit of Absinthe -- mysterious, captivating, and endlessly fascinating.

Whether enjoyed as a pre-dinner aperitif or a sophisticated nightcap, these cocktails are sure to impress and transport you through a sip of history and a dash of mystery.

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More about Absinthe

ORIGINS_HISTORY

Where did absinthe originate and how did it become popular?

Absinthe originated in the late 18th century in Switzerland and gained widespread popularity in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was particularly favored by artists and writers who attributed their creativity to its unique effects. Its mystique, complex flavor, and the intricate ritual of its preparation contributed to its popularity. Despite its ban in the early 1900s due to concerns about its psychoactive effects, modern research has debunked many myths surrounding absinthe, leading to a resurgence in its production and popularity.

PREPARATION_TECHNIQUES

What is the traditional method for preparing absinthe?

The traditional method of preparing absinthe involves a process called 'louching.' A shot of absinthe is poured into a glass, and a sugar cube is placed on a specially designed slotted spoon that rests on the glass. Iced water is then slowly dripped over the sugar cube, dissolving it into the absinthe. This results in a diluted, opalescent mixture that highlights the complex flavors and aromas of the spirit. This method not only prepares the drink but also serves as a ritual that enhances the absinthe drinking experience.

INGREDIENT_SPECIFICS

What are the key botanicals used in absinthe and what flavors do they impart?

Absinthe is made with a variety of botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Wormwood contributes to the bitter, herbal qualities of absinthe, while green anise and sweet fennel add a distinctive licorice flavor. These herbs, among others, create absinthe's complex and intense flavor profile, marked by herbal, floral, and spicy undertones.

SERVING_SUGGESTIONS

In what types of cocktails is absinthe commonly used, and how does it affect the drink's flavor?

Absinthe is commonly used in classic cocktails such as the Sazerac, Corpse Reviver #2, and the Absinthe Frappe. Its strong herbal and licorice-like flavors add complexity and depth to cocktails, often serving as a balancing agent to sweet or citrus components. In many cocktails, absinthe is used in small quantities to rinse the glass, imparting a subtle aroma and flavor that significantly influences the overall taste profile of the drink.

CULTURAL_SIGNIFICANCE

How has absinthe influenced art and culture?

Absinthe has had a significant impact on art and culture, especially in late 19th- and early 20th-century France. It was famously consumed by artists, writers, and intellectuals, who often depicted it in their works or attributed their creativity to its effects. The fascination with absinthe transcended its physical consumption, becoming a symbol of the bohemian lifestyle, rebellion against societal norms, and the pursuit of creativity. This cultural significance has contributed to the enduring allure and mystique of absinthe.