How To Serve Absinth
The preparation before drinking Absinth fills you with anticipation and sets you in the right mood. This procedure is called the absinth ritual, it basically is an outline on how to serve absinth.
If you plan to drink absinth how to do it is just as important as the actual drinking. Remember that absinth is a concentrate, the high alcohol levels keep the essential oils in the herbs within the bottle, a level lower of 55 proof will not be able to hold them and the essential oils of the herbs will precipitate, loosing characteristics and taste.
In order for it to be palatable absinth has been diluted in a traditional way for over a hundred years, and this is how. To serve absinth you are gonna need a tall glass, preferably wide open at the pouring end, a special slotted spoon (looks like a cake knife with holes in it), ice cold water and a lump of sugar.
Fill up the glass 1/5 with absinth directly from the bottle, you will smell the anise and thujone right away. The liquid will look bright green, although color varies according to brands, there is even some red absinth. Place the spoon on top of the glass and the lump of sugar on top of the spoon. Slowly pour the cold water on the sugar. This will slowly dissolve the sugar into the absinth, continue until the glass is full.
This is how to serve absinth in the traditional way. Some people dilute less water, but the usual is 5 part water for one of pure absinth. The liquid will look misty, a foggy result that is known as the 'louche', pronounced loosh in English and will not be stronger that a cup of wine.
Another way to serve absinth is using a common everyday spoon. Have the glass filled 1/5 as before with absinth. The spoon is also filled with pure absinth and a lump of sugar is added. The sugar will absorb the alcohol. Light up the sugar until it is caramelized. Mix the caramel with the rest of the absinth in the glass.. Usually this makes the absinth light up as well. Put out by adding cold water until the glass is full.
The procedure to serve absinth this way is part of the charm that surrounds the drink. Absinth can be served in cocktails, which is a very popular choice because of its strong alcoholic content. Taste it the traditional way first to know what you are getting into, they try all the variations you like!
blends with the absinth. Dissolve 5 parts of water for one of absinth. The resulting liquid will be an opaque greenish liquid. This cloud is called the 'louche', pronounced loosh in English. This drink is lighter than taking it straight and has a sweet taste to it.
Another variation on how to drink absinth uses a common spoon and some undiluted absinth in it. Place the sugar lump and light it up until it turns to caramel and blend with the rest absinth. After this pour in the cold water and drink.
If you are willing to try something different, you can light up the pure absinth in a small grass, pour it into some lemon juice and take a shot. This of course is not a practice many connoisseurs approve of, or how I would recommend to drink absinth regularly, but it's good for kicks and will certainly give you a quick buzz.
There are lots of cocktails made with absinth and here are just a couple to give you some examples.
Take a tequila glass for measurements. Fill one with gin, one quart of it with dry vermouth and 20 drops of absinth all into the same glass. Stir gently and pour shaved ice. After you have mixed it well you can add an olive.
One classic cocktail is "Swiss Girl" cocktail. 2oz absinth, half a tequila glass filled with anisette, 1 oz of white crème de menthe, one egg and mix it with ice in a cocktail mixer.