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Absinthe Chemistry

Absinthe Recipes

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Recipes for absinthe generally have two parts. There is the maceration, which is the list of herbs to be soaked in the proof spirit prior to distillation, and the list of finish herbs, which are herbs infused into the spirit after the distillation. After the finish has had time to work its way into the liqueur, it is filtered and ready for use or storage. Absinthe should be bottled in tightly sealed containers, as with corks or screw caps. Absinthe should be stored in a cool location (steady 13-18°C), away from direct sunlight. Bottles with a cork may be stored on their sides and rotated to keep the cork moist. Bottles with screw on caps should be stored upright to prevent leaking.

Spanish Absinthe

(Primary Maceration for Distillation - 1.5 liters)

  • 4 grams - Common Wormwood
  • 8 grams - Green Anise (Seeds)
  • 6 grams - Fennel Seed
  • 12 grams - Star Anise
  • 2 grams - Angelica root
  • 1 gram - Coriander
(Finish)
  • 2 grams - Hyssop
  • 3 grams - Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Suisse La Bleue (clear absinthe)

(Primary Maceration for Distillation - 1.5 liters)

  • 4 grams - Common Wormwood
  • 8 grams - Green Anise (Seeds)
  • 6 gram - Fennel Seed
  • 4 grams - Star Anise
  • 3 grams - Peppermint Leaf
  • 2 grams - Hyssop
  • 2 grams - Angelica root

French Absinthe

(Primary Maceration for Distillation - 1.5 liters)

  • 3 grams - Common Wormwood
  • 4 grams - Green Anise (Seeds)
  • 2 gram - Fennel Seed
  • 2 grams - Star Anise
  • 2 grams - Angelica root
  • 1 gram - Coriander

(Finish)

  • 2 grams - Hyssop
  • 2 gram - Melissa

Winston's La Fee Verte

(Primary Maceration for Distillation - 1.5 liters)

  • 4 grams - Common Wormwood
  • 6 grams - Green Anise (Seeds)
  • 4 gram - Fennel Seed
  • 8 grams - Star Anise
  • 2 gram - Hyssop
  • 4 grams - Peppermint Leaf
  • 2 grams - Angelica root

(Finish)

  • 2 grams - Hyssop
  • 2 grams - Melissa
  • 4 grams - Peppermint Leaf

Recipe Notes

  • The proof spirit is usually distilled from wine.

  • Flowers and leaves of wormwood are preferred for their aromatic and fresh flavors. The stems of wormwood have a higher thujone content than the leaves and flowers and also impart more of a bitter note. Most recipes do not call for wormwood in the finish, because addition of the fresh herb at this point can add too much astringency. If wormwood in the finish is desired, it is recommended that a small quantity be used.

  • Wormwood, peppermint leaf, and hyssop are usually the source of the green color associated with absinthe. The louche is due to a reaction with the anise in the spirit.

    Here's how to drink absinthe...

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