Absinthe Mixed Drinks

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Absinthe Mixed Drinks



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Absinthe, often referred to as “the green fairy,” is a spirit with a rich history and a mystique that has captivated artists, writers, and connoisseurs for centuries. Originating in the late 18th century, this potent spirit is known for its high alcohol content and unique flavor profile, derived from botanicals such as wormwood, anise, and fennel.

While traditionally enjoyed in its classic form with water and sugar, absinthe has found its way into a variety of mixed drinks, offering a unique twist to modern cocktails. Here, we explore some of the most popular and innovative absinthe mixed drinks that you can enjoy.

The Classic Absinthe Drip

Before diving into more complex cocktails, it’s essential to appreciate absinthe in its purest form. The absinthe drip, also known as the absinthe ritual, involves slowly dripping ice-cold water over a sugar cube placed on a slotted spoon. This process dilutes the spirit and releases its intricate flavors, creating a milky louche effect. It’s a ritualistic and mesmerizing way to enjoy absinthe.


The Sazerac is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century and is often regarded as one of the first cocktails ever created. This New Orleans staple combines rye whiskey or cognac, a sugar cube, Peychaud’s bitters, and a rinse of absinthe.


1 sugar cube
2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
2 oz rye whiskey or cognac
Absinthe rinse
Lemon peel for garnish


In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the sugar cube with the bitters.

Add the rye whiskey or cognac and stir to combine.

Rinse a second old-fashioned glass with absinthe and discard the excess.

Strain the mixture into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Garnish with a lemon peel.

Corpse Reviver No. 2

This aptly named cocktail is part of a family of drinks intended to “revive” one’s spirits. The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is a well-balanced, refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion.


3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dash of absinthe


Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.

Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Death in the Afternoon

Created by the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon is a simple yet potent cocktail that combines absinthe with champagne. This drink is named after Hemingway’s book of the same name and is known for its elegance and potency.


1 oz absinthe
4 oz chilled champagne


Pour the absinthe into a champagne flute.

Top with chilled champagne.

Stir gently and enjoy.

Absinthe Frappé

The Absinthe Frappé is a refreshing cocktail that became popular in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a great way to enjoy absinthe on a hot day.


1 1/2 oz absinthe
1/2 oz simple syrup
Crushed ice
Soda water


In a shaker, combine absinthe and simple syrup.

Fill the shaker with crushed ice and shake vigorously.

Strain into a chilled glass filled with crushed ice.

Top with a splash of soda water.

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Green Beast

The Green Beast is a modern absinthe cocktail that is both easy to make and delicious. It’s a refreshing and vibrant drink that’s perfect for parties.


1 oz absinthe
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
4 oz water
Cucumber slices for garnish


Combine absinthe, simple syrup, lime juice, and water in a pitcher.

Stir well and pour over ice in a highball glass.

Garnish with cucumber slices.

Absinthe is a versatile and intriguing spirit that can elevate a variety of cocktails with its distinctive flavor. Whether you prefer classic concoctions like the Sazerac and Corpse Reviver No. 2 or modern creations like the Green Beast, there’s an absinthe mixed drink for every palate. So, next time you’re looking to explore the world of cocktails, consider reaching for a bottle of absinthe and experiencing the allure of the green fairy.

The History and Mystique of Absinthe

Understanding absinthe’s role in cocktails requires delving into its fascinating history and the mystique surrounding it. Absinthe was invented in the late 18th century by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor living in Switzerland. Initially used for medicinal purposes, it quickly gained popularity in the 19th century as a recreational drink. By the mid-19th century, it became associated with the bohemian lifestyle and was a favorite among artists, writers, and intellectuals, including Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Ernest Hemingway.

Absinthe was believed to have hallucinogenic properties due to the presence of thujone, a chemical compound found in wormwood. This led to its ban in many countries by the early 20th century. However, modern studies have shown that the thujone content in absinthe is not high enough to cause hallucinations. The bans were lifted in the 1990s and 2000s, leading to a resurgence in its popularity.

Modern Innovations with Absinthe

The revival of absinthe has sparked creativity among bartenders and mixologists, leading to innovative cocktails that showcase the spirit’s unique flavors. Here are a few more contemporary absinthe cocktails worth trying:

Absinthe Mule

A twist on the classic Moscow Mule, the Absinthe Mule adds a unique herbal kick to the refreshing ginger beer-based drink.


1 oz absinthe
1 oz lime juice
4 oz ginger beer
Lime wedge for garnish


Fill a copper mug with ice.

Add absinthe and lime juice.

Top with ginger beer and stir gently.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

Absinthe Sour

The Absinthe Sour is a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and herbal flavors, making it a sophisticated choice for absinthe enthusiasts.


1 1/2 oz absinthe
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Egg white (optional for a frothy texture)
Lemon twist for garnish


In a shaker, combine absinthe, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if using).

Shake vigorously without ice to emulsify the egg white.

Add ice and shake again.

Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Parisian Spritz

The Parisian Spritz is a light and refreshing cocktail that combines absinthe with the effervescence of sparkling wine and the sweetness of elderflower liqueur.


1/2 oz absinthe
1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
4 oz sparkling wine
Soda water
Lemon peel for garnish


In a wine glass filled with ice, add absinthe and elderflower liqueur.

Top with sparkling wine and a splash of soda water.

Stir gently and garnish with a lemon peel.

Tips for Mixing Absinthe Cocktails

Dilution is Key: Absinthe is a high-proof spirit, and proper dilution is essential to balance its strong flavors and high alcohol content. Water, soda, and other mixers help mellow its intensity.

Start with Small Amounts: Because of its potent flavor, a little absinthe goes a long way. Start with small quantities and adjust to taste.

Complementary Flavors: Absinthe’s herbal, anise-forward profile pairs well with citrus, herbs, and sweet ingredients. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect mix.

Garnishes Matter: Fresh herbs, citrus twists, and edible flowers not only add visual appeal but also enhance the aromatic experience of absinthe cocktails.

Absinthe mixed drinks offer a gateway to explore the intriguing world of this storied spirit.

Whether you are a seasoned absinthe enthusiast or new to its charms, these cocktails provide a variety of ways to enjoy its unique flavor. From timeless classics to modern innovations, absinthe continues to inspire and delight, inviting you to partake in the legacy of the green fairy. So, gather your ingredients, raise your glass, and toast to the enduring allure of absinthe.


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