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What Is Absinthe?

Absinthe drip on sugar cube

When you think of absinthe, thoughts of the green fairy, hallucinations and late 19th century artists like Hemmingway, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh are probably top of mind. But, with the rise of classic cocktails and mixology in the last few years, it’s time to dispel much of the mythology of this green-hued spirit. Here, we’ll go over everything from what absinthe really is to how to drink it and much more.

While you’re at it, it’s time for these retro cocktails to make a comeback.

What Is Absinthe?

Absinthe is a strong spirit created when a neutral alcohol is distilled with botanicals like anise, wormwood, fennel and other herbs and spices for a licorice-like flavor. There are two main styles of absinthe, Swiss/French and Czech/Bohemian

Swiss or French absinthe is considered the most traditional type of absinthe since the spirit was invented in Switzerland, along the French border. It’s made by slowly distilling alcohol with the botanicals listed above and then coloring the nearly-done spirit naturally with additional herbs. Because anise oils don’t dissolve in water, a louche, or white cloudiness, is formed when water is added to Swiss absinthe. Some believe this style is the only ‘true’ kind of absinthe

Czech- or …read more

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