Absinthe – a brief history and preparation of it

Published on Dec 20, 2017

Absinthe – a controversial herbal spirit drink, that has inspired generations of artists, writers, and philosophers.  It is said, it goes way back to ancient Egypt when tinctures of wormwood were used as a medicine at that time.  Later, much later… at the end of the 18th century the French doctor Pierre Ordinaire was credited with creating this highly alcoholic elixir.  At that time he lived and worked in Switzerland, where he used this tincture as a treatment for his patients.  It was not available to the general public.

The classical color of the drink is green, and its shades can range from light green to emerald.  It also comes in amber color which is characterized by a mild taste, and in its process, it is subjected to double cleaning.  The ruby color comes from an addition of pomegranate extract, which gives it an original aftertaste.  And it also comes in dark brown color.  During the preparation of which, wormwood roots are used, instead of leaves.  The infusion of black acacia is added to it, which gives it sweet notes.  

It has twice the strength of most spirits, about 70-80% alcohol.  Therefore it is not customary to use it in its pure form, and there are several options how to correctly drink this herbal liquid.  According to one of them, to make a portion of the drink you need a high narrow glass.  It must be filled with absinthe in 1/4 part, about 1 oz.  A special spoon is placed on the top of the glass.  A cube of sugar is placed directly on top of the spoon.  Through it, a thin trickle of cold water is poured, to about 2/3 of the glass.  During this process, sugar should dissolve and give a nice balance to the bitterness.  Sugar also helps the aromas to develop better.


Another way to prepare the drink: place the special spoon on top of your glass and add a sugar cube over it.  Pour a bit of absinthe over a sugar cube to saturate it well and fill the glass 1/4 full, then ignite the sugar cube.  Caramelized sugar will slowly drain into your glass.  Then just add the cold water and enjoy!



Images courtesy of Pixabay