How To Drink Absinthe And Live To Tell The Tale

Knowing how to drink absinthe - or how not to - can be a game changer when it comes to surviving a night out with the green fairy.

France’s love affair with la fee verte - or the green lady - is one of the primary reasons as to why absinthe grew to such notoriety during the late 19th century. Favoured by artists, writers and bohemians alike, the streets of Paris came alive every evening once the green fairy began to flow freely. Often portrayed - and embraced - as a hallucinogenic, it was banned across much of Europe before experiencing a revival in the western world in the early 1990’s. Even now, absinthe is still that of an urban legend, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be approached with caution. 


How To Drink Absinthe Like The Pro’s 


It’s important to note that this emerald liquor is not for the faint hearted. With its alcohol content sitting on 50-70% on average, it’s not the type of alcohol that can be procured at 2:00am as an afterthought -  at least not if you intend on drinking ever again. If you want to avoid becoming another victim of the green fairy, there are a few key consumption methods that will help to ensure the medicine goes down the right way. 


In A Cocktail - If it’s your first time attempting to tango with the green fairy, it’s generally recommended that you start slowly. More often than not, consumers tend to underestimate the alcohol content of absinthe, so ease into it to ensure the liquor is to your taste. 


With Cold Water And Syrup - If you decide that the taste tickles your fancy, start exploring the more traditional methods regarding how to drink absinthe. Pour 50ml of absinthe into a glass, followed by cold water. From there, add a simple DIY sugar syrup to taste as a sweetener. 


The French Way - If you’re ready to party like it’s 1889, you’re ready to try the original French absinthe fountain. This method requires some special apparatus though, so ensure you have the right type of spoons and sugar cubes before you get started.

Exactly how to drink absinthe is often linked to the type of absinthe you’re consuming, as some are renowned for being stronger than others - but are there any other FAQs that you should be aware of?

Can you get drunk off absinthe? If consumers follow any one of the intended consumption methods outlined above, then the answer is absolutely.

Can you drink absinthe straight? Because of its incredibly high alcohol content and potent flavour, absinthe shouldn't be taken as a standalone shot purely for safety purposes. 

Why is absinthe so expensive? The price of absinthe can be attributed to a number of things: high alcohol content, cost of ingredients, small levels of production, and of course - reputation. 

Can absinthe kill you? Like all alcohol, large amounts of absinthe can be physically quite dangerous. Binge drinking absinthe is ill advised, and can lead to alcohol poisoning. 

“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” - Oscar Wilde. 


While nobody can say whether you’ll witness Kylie Minogue appear as the green fairy after a few glasses a la Moulin Rouge! - there’s no denying that the controversy and mistique are all a part of absinthe’s appeal, and the global curiosity doesn’t look to be diminishing anytime soon.