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19 Absinthe Cocktails You Need To Try

This far into winter, no drink is too strong.

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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.


5. Carthusian Sazerac

Helen Rosner /

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.