The Absinthe Ritual

Read everything about and around the traditional absinthe ritual. How is it meant to be prepared? Do I add sugar to absinthe? Do I add ice cubes? How did they do it in the Belle Epoque?

How to spell Absinthe

You have certainly already noticed that there are various ways of spelling our favorite spirit from the Val-de-Travers (a small region in Switzerland where absinthe was first ‘discovered’).  Absinthe, absinth, absynthe, absenta…which of these spellings then captures the real spirit of absinthe?!  The following explanations shine some light on the various spellings of absinthe.

Absinthe is French for wormwood (artemisia absinthium), (more…)

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Why should I pour the water slowly into a glass of absinthe?

Decanters, brouilles and absinthe fountains were invented for one particular purpose: to enable you to pour the water into your absinthe glass as gently as possible – ideally, drop by drop – especially at the begining, when the absinthe starts to louche. There are two main reasons for pouring the water carefully:

1. The louche is even more beautiful.

2. The different aromas of your absinthe develop more slowly, and can become much more complex and interesting. (Chemistry helps to understand this phenomenon: each essential oil precipitates at a different dilution, and pouring the water slowly enables the aromas to develop one after the other).

However, it is all about louching your absinthe without “drowning” it by letting the water flow as slowly as you should savour your drink.

Marcel Pagnol illustrated this in his novel “Le temps des secrets” – 1960 (The time of secrets):

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The Traditional French Absinthe Ritual

The French started drinking their absinthe with sugar in the 1870s and created a whole new way of enjoying absinthe, and changed its taste. The sugar ritual surely convinced some people that didn’t enjoy the taste of absinthe to give it another go and to end up genuinely enjoying it. Watch this video to see how to do the traditional French Absinthe Ritual:

Let’s see the 4 steps of the French Ritual:

Traditional French Absinthe Ritual

  1. Pour 2 to 4cl absinthe into an absinthe glass.
  2. Place your absinthe spoon onto your glass, and add 1 or 2 sugar cubes on top of your spoon.
  3. Now pour the iced water over the sugar cube, as slow as possible – best would be just small drops. An absinthe fountain is ideal for controlling your water drip. Wait until the sugar has dissolved with the water, and until you reached your preferred absinthe-water ratio.
  4. Stir your absinthe with your absinthe spoon to ensure the sugar completely dissolves – then, enjoy your glass of absinthe!

Absinthe Roquette: THE bestselling Absinthe

Absinthe RoquetteYou might have notice the really nice bottle of absinthe which is used for the video. This is the Absinthe Roquette 1797, our bestselling absinthe. Roquette 1797 has been brought back to life from an unpublished, hand-written manuscript dating from the eighteenth century, when absinthe was more mysterious elixir than evening aperitif.

> Discover the Absinthe Roquette 1797 in the shop.

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From 50mm to 2150mm: A review of absinthe spoons

Aaaah absinthe spoon... this magical accessorie, indispensable for every self-respecting absintheur!

People often ask me what they’re for, and I must admit I understand why one could get confused trying to figure out how to use them. Why do they have holes? Not very practical to drink your syrup… Even though the answer may be clear for most of you, I would rather make sure everyone understands. Here are the instructions:
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Absinthe with or without sugar? Here’s an explanation

You know just as well as I do, everyone has their own preferences and taste. However, some of those differences can be explained. That’s why I’m going to attempt to make it clear for you, why some people drink their absinthe with sugar and why others (the Swiss for example) find it exasperating to do such thing.

In order to do so, I’m going to have to go back time a little. However, I just want to point out a few important things that I think are important to remember:

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