20 best Absinthe cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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Absinthe is a most unusual cocktail ingredient as it's the main base spirit in some cocktails while is used as mere dashes in others. Absinthe's aroma and flavour are so intense that just a dash or a few millilitres can be enough to aromatise a cocktail. However, the following all include a good slug of absinthe so truly are 20 of the best "absinthe cocktails"

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Absinthe Spider Highball
With: Absinthe, aromatic bitters and ginger ale.
We say: Absinthe and ginger ale combine in this refreshing highball.

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Absinthe by Jimmy
With: Absinthe, lime juice, chilled water, sugar syrup, and aromatic bitters.
We say: The absinthe cocktail meets the absinthe sour with lime juice added to the holy trinity of absinthe, sugar and water.

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Absinthe Cocktail
With: Absinthe, chilled water, and sugar.
We say: Absinthe is tamed and served straight-up.

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Absinthe Drip Cocktail
With: Absinthe, chilled water, and sugar.
We say: Following the ritual and making with patience adds to this cocktail.

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Absinthe Frappé
With: Absinthe, anisette liqueur, chilled water, and sugar syrup.
We say: Crushed ice tames absinthe in this cocktail that dates back to 1874.

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Absinthe Martini
With: Dry gin, dry vermouth, and absinthe.
We say: A classic gin Martini made aniseed fresh with a generous splash of absinthe.

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Absinthe Mojito
With: Fresh lime, mint, absinthe, and lemonade.
We say: Absinthe brings aniseed and liquorice to this mojito-like cocktail.

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Absinthe Sour
With: Absinthe, sugar syrup, lemon juice, egg white, and Creole-style bitters.
We say: A sour for absinthe lovers.

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Bohemian Mule
With: Absinthe, lime juice, sugar syrup, and ginger beer.
We say: Long and refreshing and packing a full shot of absinthe.

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De La Louisiane
With: Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, absinthe, Creole-style bitters and chilled water.
We say: A rye-based Sweet Manhattan made even sweeter with herbal Bénédictine liqueur and bittered with Peychaud's and absinthe.

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Death in the Afternoon
With: Absinthe, sugar syrup and brut champagne.
We say: Bravado (absinthe) dominates this drink alongside hints of biscuity champagne. We added a touch of sugar to tame this hardman's cocktail.

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Duchess
With: Sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, absinthe, chilled water and orange bitters.
We say: Aniseed and liquorice notes from absinthe pervade this vermouth based cocktail, even though we have dramatically reduced the amount used from the original recipe which calls for equal parts of each ingredient.

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Fairy Cream
With: Absinthe, single cream, dark crème de cacao and white crème de cacao.
We say: Absinthe sits majestically with cream and chocolate in this indulgent after-dinner cocktail.

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Green Swizzle
With: Light rum, white overproof rum, absinthe, falernum liqueur, crème de menthe and lime juice.
We say: Robustly flavoured ingredients brought together harmoniously in a tall, most refreshing swizzle. Worthy of its legendary status.

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Hemingway
With: Absinthe, sugar syrup, lime juice, and brut sparkling wine.
We say: A lime influenced riff on Hemingway's classic Death in the Afternoon.

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Neptune's Wrath
With: Dry gin, absinthe, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and Green Chartreuse.
We say: Last Word-like with egg-white smoothing the way for a noticeable slug of absinthe.

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Obituary
With: Dry gin, absinthe and dry vermouth.
We say: What a way to go. A Dry Martini with a dash of the Green Fairy.

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Remember the Maine
With: Absinthe, chilled water, rye whiskey, bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth and cherry brandy liqueur.
We say: Charles H. Baker says of this twist on a Sazerac, "Treat this one with the respect it deserves, gentlemen."

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Sazerac Cocktail (Difford's recipe)
With: Absinthe, chilled water, cognac, rye whisky, bourbon whiskey, sugar syrup, Creole-style bitters and aromatic bitters.
We say: If you are rightly concerned about chucking expensive absinthe down the drain then consider straining into a shot glass and serve on the side. The seven to one proportion used to rinse the glass produces a tasty chaser.

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Waldorf Cocktail No.1
With: Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, absinthe and orange bitters.
We say: It may go against modern bartending etiquette but this modern riff on the original equal parts Waldorf is best enjoyed shaken rather than stirred.

Over 200 more absinthe cocktails

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