The Crossroads of the Aether
So how does everyone prepare their Absinthe. I typically use a 3.5:1 with a cane sugar cube, and I never flame it. So how does everyone else prepare theirs.
Typically I follow the French ritual of pouring the absinthe (I tend to go strong 4 to 4.5oz) over a single sugar cube. After wards I pour a thin stream of ice water over the sugar until it has dissolved and mixed into the glass. A quick swirl of the spoon and all is done except enjoying it.
If the absinthe has a very strong alcoholic taste (like swirling licorice flavored rubbing alcohol in your mouth) then I go with a modification on the Bohemian or Czech ritual. I pour the absinthe over the spoon sans sugar. I light the spoon and drop it into the absinthe lighting it in a nice blue blaze. I let this burn for a few seconds before blowing it out. This burns off a bit of the alcohol without ruining the desired effect and overall taste. Then I place the sugar cube on the spoon and pour the ice water over it until it dissolves into the waiting glass bellow. Again a quick swirl with the spoon to mix up any undissolved bits of sugar that fell down into the glass and enjoy.
A knowledgeable tippler advised us to use for parts water to one part absinthe. We've also enjoyed it in a Sazerac cocktail, but it leaves our heads throbbing the next day.
I'll be honest- since my sugar sits at the bottom of my iced tea no matter how much I stir it, I have imagined that my glass would overrun with cold water before the sugar cube would melt. So I wimp out and simply put a pinch of sugar in the bottom of my glass and mix 4:1, water:absinthe- then stir like crazy. Am I an absinthe anarchist?
I found several local sources for over the counter purchase of absinthe and enjoy Pacifique. I'll try another label soon.
Okay I'll admit to never having tried absinthe, but I very much want to & always have.
I say this on this thread rather than a brand new one simply because this means that aside from posts such as these (and a few vauge references elsewhere), I've never actually been taught what the proper way to prepare it at all is.
Does anyone have some good references (sites, books, etc) for preparation of the drink or better yet, its history? I realize that the French are generally thought of when it comes to absinthe but I'd be interested in learning in its history/methods in other cultures as well.
Try ' The Dedalus Book of Absinthe by Phil Baker , Dedalus 2001 , ISBN 1 673982 94 1 or ' Hideous Absinthe - a history of the devil in a bottle ' by Jad Adams , I. B. Tauris 2004 , ISBN . The Dedalus book contains much on preparing the drink while ' Hideous ' covers more of the convoluted history .
A considerable body of anti-absinthe material once existed and if you can track it down you might find Marie Corelli's ' Wormwood - a drama of Paris ' of interest . The novel is so over the top that it must have been composed under the influence of something much stronger than Absinthe .
Maybe I am just insane but frankly enjoy it straight and without sugar or water. I will however agree with Mr. Bishop in regards to the Czech ritual, having done that a few times. I have also found that Absinthe tends to loose some flavour the colder it gets. Has anyone else found this to be true?
Also, a friend of mine from New York has... (had) a bottle of Absinthe from France that was rather strong, but good. I shall remember next time I see him to get the brand.
I usually follow the French method, however on occasion enjoy the fiery delights of the Bohemian method. While I prefer the French method myself, when I have a friend over who has not seen the preparation of absinthe before I usually treat them to the fun spectacle that is the Bohemian method.
I was fortunate enough to come across an absinthe fountain and a set of four Pontarlier glasses at a very reasonable price, which has made the ritual easier. I place my spoon across the top with two quick-dissolve sugar cubes side-by-side, and pour my absinthe slowly over them until the reservoir in the glass is filled. I then turn the spigot on the absinthe fountain until the water (room temperature is my preference) drips slowly but steadily onto the sugar cubes and into the absinthe. Once the absinthe has louched completely, I turn the spigot off and enjoy.
I'm afraid that I must confess to being a bit of a barbarian and prefer my absinthe straight, for the most part....I just enjoy the pure, undiluted taste.
Not a barbarian, but one with a gullet of steel. I tried a thimble full straight and it burned like all hellfire.
I normally prepare my absinthe with the sugar cube and the ice cold water.
However, I pretty much ran out of the first ever absinthe bottle I bought (Lucid). It's very cold here, and cold drinks are unthinkable right now. Curiosity triumphed and with my last bit of absinthe, I tried it with hot water and the sugar cube. I like it! I think it brings out the spice more and it warms you right up!