The basics about absinthe

Curious about the myterious beverage. Here is a short introduction of what you need to know.

Originally created in Val-de-travers it’s probably the only spirit renowned more because of his history than his ingredients.

Banned for almost a century, unjustly accused to be responsible of hallucinogen effect, today absinthe has reborn and gained recognition worldwide.

Composed of the holy trinity plants “Artemisia, Fennel and Anis”, Absinthe can be enjoyed in many different way….

Absinthe consumption 

1. Swiss way

Originally from Switzerland, the most traditional service is a basic service that consists of serving 3 cl of pure absinthe in a glass and then lengthening the drink of fresh water using an absinthe fountain.

2. French traditional

“French absinthe” or “Green Absinthe” has the particularity to be bitter than the Swiss one. That is the reason why a sugar lump was traditionally put on spoon placed on the top of the glass in order to reduce the overall bitterness.

3. Czech Absinthe

The world's most famous ritual, especially among younger generations. This nonsense was created in the 1990s in the Czech Republic by bartenders wishing to try to make absinthe more fashionable by flaming the Absinthe to create whoa effect and reduce the high degree of alcohol.

4. Cocktails

Absinthe is a particularly delicate cocktail ingredient because it’s strongly aniseed side can counterbalance other flavours. In general, green absinthes are often too typical to add a nice touch to a cocktail. It is best to start with white absinthes and as a dash.

The iconic absinthe cocktail: Sazerac

The Sazerac originates from the New Orleans, where it was invented by a Creole apothecary named Antoine Peychaud in 1830. Peychaud's Bitters is an aromatic bitter created by Peychaud and still on sale today.


1cl Absinthe

4cl Rye Whisky

2cl Cognac

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

2 Dash Peychaud Bitters

1cl Sugarcane Syrup




1. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes and absinthe

2. In a chilled mixing glass add all the ingredients and stir it

3. Remove the absinthe and the ice from the old fashioned glass

4. Strain the cocktail from the mixing glass to the glass

5. Served neat and flavored with a lemon zest (But don’t leave it inside the glass)

Author: Stephane Bouchet-Dulas, Lecturer Practical Arts at EHL

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