Food

19 Absinthe Cocktails You Need To Try

This far into winter, no drink is too strong.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

If you don’t have a bottle of absinthe at home, go out and buy one!

Although the United Stated banned absinthe in 1915, the ban was lifted in 2007. Today, your neighborhood liquor store probably carries at least a few bottles. While some varieties are better than others, all have a strong anise flavor and none are actually proven hallucinogens. Though absinthe contains a trace amount of the compound thujone, which was once thought to be mind-altering, any weird effects people associate with drinking absinthe are probably just a result of too much alcohol.

The simplest, most traditional way to drink absinthe is is with sugar and water.

Pour a shot of absinthe into a shot glass. Balance an absinthe spoon over the glass with a sugar cube in it, then slowly pour water over the sugar cube and into the absinthe. Full instructions here.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try an absinthe cocktail.

Because of its strong flavor and high alcohol content—depending on the brand, absinthe can be anywhere from 45-75% ABV, or 90-150 proof—absinthe is used sparingly in most cocktails, often mixed with larger volumes of other, less potent spirits. But even just an absinthe rinse (swirling the inside of a glass with absinthe before filling it with another cocktail) adds a strong licorice flavor and some extra intensity.

1. The Sun Also Rises

A Hemingway daiquiri is a serious drink all on its own. Add a spoonful of absinthe, and you’ve got a drink that’s completely unstoppable. Recipe here.

2. Sleepy Hollow Cocktail

This smoky combination of absinthe and mezcal is unlike anything you’ve tried before. Recipe here.

3. Corpse Reviver No. 2

If you’re a gin person, this is hands down the most refreshing, delicious, and dangerous drink of all time. Recipe here.

4. The Green Beast

This looks like an innocent porch drink, but it’s actually a powerful lime and absinthe punch. Either way, it hits the spot. Recipe here.

5. Carthusian Sazerac

Helen Rosner / saveur.com

This one only calls for an absinthe rinse (which means you swirl the absinthe around inside the glass and then pour it out), because the flavor profile of the rye-chartreuse mix is complex all on its own. Recipe here.

6. Absinthe Frappé

Laura Sant / saveur.com

Shaken, not stirred. Recipe here.

7. Billionaire Cocktail

Maxime Iattoni / saveur.com

Created at the popular NYC bar Employees Only, this mixture of high-proof bourbon and absinthe is a great way to start a weekend night. Recipe here.

8. The Jaded Lady

This mix of of absinthe, vodka and white wine is the trippiest lady drink you’ll ever have. Recipe here.

9. La Tour Eiffel

Cognac with a twist, and then some. Recipe here.

10. Death In The Afternoon

A simple mix of absinthe and champagne, this drink sounds pretty lively to me. Recipe here.

11. Foaming Fairy

Gin and absinthe give this its edge, but an egg white gives the drink its frothy fairy magic. Recipe here.

12. Absinthe Suissesse

Steven Torres / epicurious.com

The only thing plain about this creamy cocktail is the color. Recipe here.

13. Fourth Degree

Gin, vermouth, and MORE vermouth = very dry and very strong. Which is exactly my kind of thing. Recipe here.

14. The New Black

Matt Duckor / bonappetit.com

Amaro is a lesser known family of aperitifs that you really should get acquainted with. This cocktail is a good place to start. Recipe here.

15. Classic Sazerac

For anybody who usually sticks to whiskey on the rocks, but wants to change it up just a little bit. Recipe here.

16. Chrysanthemum

Vermouth fanatics, this one’s for you. Recipe here.

17. The Earthquake

Ingalls Photography / saveur.com

A simple mix of cognac and absinthe that’s guaranteed to shake you up. Recipe here.

18. Seapea Fizz

Absinthe mixes with lemon juice, sugar, egg whites, and seltzer in this punchy but not deadly drink. Recipe here.

19. USS Bomber

A red, white and blue powerhouse. Recipe here.

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