Absinthe Drip Cocktail Recipe

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Absinthe Drip Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Absinthe Drip is a classic way to enjoy absinthe, a spirit that was once banned in many countries due to misconceptions about its effects. It became particularly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among artists and writers in Paris.

  • The ritual of the absinthe drip is as much a part of the experience as the drink itself.
  • Traditionally served in a special absinthe glass, the slow water drip is key to the perfect louche, which is the cloudy opalescence that occurs as the water mixes with the absinthe.
  • The drink is known for its strong anise flavor and has a bit of a cult following among those who appreciate its unique taste and history.

How Absinthe Drip Tastes?

The Absinthe Drip is a complex, herbaceous cocktail with a strong anise flavor that is both sweet and bitter. The water dilutes the absinthe, making it a smooth, refreshing drink with a potent kick.

Interesting facts about Absinthe Drip

  • Absinthe was nicknamed 'The Green Fairy' due to its green color and the supposed 'hallucinogenic' effects.
  • The traditional absinthe drip ritual uses a slotted spoon and a sugar cube to add a touch of sweetness and to help the water dissolve into the absinthe more evenly.
  • Absinthe has a high alcohol content, typically around 45-74% ABV, making it one of the stronger spirits available.


  • Absinthe: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Sugar cube: 1
  • Water: to drip

Absinthe (1.5oz)

Absinthe, the star of the show, is famed for its high proof and complex herbal botanicals—most notably anise, which delivers that signature licorice taste. It’s the heavy hitter in this libation, and without it, well, you’d be just sipping sweetened water. Dial the amount up, and your drink might become the Hulk—too powerful for some palates to handle.

Alex Green

Sugar Cube (1)

The sugar cube serves as a balancing agent, softening the intense herbal bitterness of the absinthe. It’s like a diplomat, both smoothing tensions and sweetening relationships. Remove it, and you’ll have a one-way ticket to Bitter Town.

Mary Mitkina

Water (to drip)

Water is the peacemaker here—it dilutes the absinthe, reducing its alcohol content and allowing the subtleties of the botanicals to shine. It’s the diffuser of the absinthe’s fiery character. No water? Then brace yourself for the pure, unadulterated spirit of absinthe—it’s not for the faint of heart.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Absinthe Drip Drink

  1. Pour 1 1/2 ounces of absinthe into a stemmed glass.
  2. Place a slotted absinthe spoon over the rim of the glass and set a sugar cube on top of the spoon.
  3. Slowly pour or drip 4 1/2 to 6 ounces of ice-cold filtered water over the sugar cube into the glass.
  4. Once the mixture is completely cloudy, stir, taste, and adjust with more water or sugar if necessary.

Pro Tips

  • Use ice-cold water for the best dilution and to achieve the perfect louche effect.
  • For a more authentic experience, use a specially designed absinthe glass and spoon.
  • Adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Plate

A variety of mild cheeses, such as brie, camembert, or a creamy goat cheese, can complement the herbal and anise flavors without overpowering the drink.


Consider light seafood dishes like oysters or shrimp cocktail that will not clash with the absinthe’s strong flavors.

Fresh Fruits

Particularly those with a hint of sweetness like pears or apples, can balance the intensity of the absinthe while adding freshness to the palate.


Dark chocolate or chocolate-based desserts that have a bitter edge can pair nicely, possibly highlighting the complexity of the absinthe.

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What you could change in Absinthe Drip

  • If you don't have a traditional absinthe spoon, a fork can be used to hold the sugar cube.
  • For a lower alcohol content, consider using a less potent absinthe or diluting with additional water.

Explore all drinks starting with A here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Fairy's Garden

Ingredients: Absinthe, Cucumber Sugar Cube, Chilled Peppermint Tea instead of Water. Recipe: Follow the traditional absinthe drip recipe but with a cucumber-infused sugar cube, and instead of water, use chilled peppermint tea. The cucumber will add a fresh, garden-like quality, while the mint tea will play up the herbal notes with a cooling twist.

The Bohemian Drip

Ingredients: Bohemian Absinthe, Brown Sugar Cube, Sparkling Water. Recipe: Switch to a Bohemian-style absinthe, which lacks the anise flavor and is more bitter. A brown sugar cube gives a richer sweetness, and sparkling water adds a lively bubbliness that tickles the tongue. It's a twist for the absinthe rebel who's looking for a more rugged, earthy experience.

Forbidden Fruit Drip

Ingredients: Absinthe, Sugar Cube, Fresh Apple Cider. Recipe: Replace the drip water with fresh apple cider. The natural sweetness and tartness of the apple will complement the botanicals of the absinthe, creating a harvest-time indulgence that feels both daring and comforting.

In case you forgot basics how to make Absinthe Drip

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Absinthe Drip

What is absinthe and how does it differ from other spirits?

Absinthe is a distilled spirit made from various herbs, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. It is often higher in alcohol content than other spirits and is unique due to its herbal complexity and the traditional preparation ritual involving water and sugar.

Is absinthe still considered to be a hallucinogenic drink?

No, modern absinthe is not hallucinogenic. The myth that absinthe produces hallucinations stems from historical misconceptions and the previously high levels of thujone found in wormwood. Today's absinthes are regulated and must conform to safety standards, which make them as safe to consume as other spirits.

Can absinthe be mixed in other cocktails?

Yes, absinthe can be used as an ingredient in various cocktails, either as a primary spirit or in smaller amounts to add complexity and aroma. It is often used in a rinse or a dash to contribute its distinct anise and herbal notes to drinks.

Why is it important to drip water into absinthe?

Dripping water into absinthe is important not only for dilution but also for the chemical reaction that occurs, releasing the aromatic compounds and oils. This process, called 'louching,' creates the milky opalescence that is characteristic of a well-prepared absinthe.

How do I choose a good quality absinthe?

When choosing a quality absinthe, look for ones that list their ingredients and have a traditional maceration and distillation process. Avoid products labeled as 'absinth' without the 'e' at the end, as these might not follow traditional recipes and might contain artificial colorings or flavors.

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