Trying Absinthe

Absinthe (a green anise-flavored spirit) has a fascinating history. It originated in Switzerland in the late 18th century and became wildly popular in late 19th century France and elsewhere. Soon after, it was vilified as a highly addictive psychoactive drug. By 1912, it was banned in the US and much of Europe. Eventually, research found it to be no more dangerous than any other spirit. In 2007, the US lifted the ban on the sale of absinthe.

When compiling my list of 40 Things, I thought it would be interesting to try the strange green drink with the bad reputation. My friend Karl saw it on my list and offered to bring some back from a business trip to New Orleans. He brought it by recently, along with instructions for how to serve it. I measured out half an ounce for each of us, then perched a slotted spoon over the top of the glass and added a sugar cube. Then I slowly poured water over the sugar cube.

As I did, the drink turned from clear green to cloudy. Neat!

My first time trying absinthe.  Cheers!


The verdict: It tasted like I'd filled a glass with water and dropped a large handful of black jellybeans in and stirred. Black jellybeans are not my favorite, but I don't hate them either. None of us felt any effects from the alcohol, but considering we each drank only 1 tablespoon, I wouldn't have expected any.

Karl left the bottle as a birthday present, so now my question is... what should I do with the rest of it? Any of you have a suggestion for a cocktail to try?  It might be fun to try cooking with it. Any recipe ideas?

Goal #24 achieved!


  1. Sorry - I don't drink - so I don't have any suggestions - but so cool you got to knock another one off your list!!

  2. Oh wow! :) My hubby has been wanting to try Absinthe! He was reading that you could get some that is anise-free, so it would have much less of the black-licorice taste. I have wondered about it, can't wait to see other comments on recipes or serving suggestions! :)

  3. Congrats on knocking another thing off of your list! That stuff looks positively toxic. LOL I'm glad to hear it wasn't so bad.

  4. How interesting! I'm learning quite a few things from your list of 40!

  5. I am learning things through your blog. Never heard of this liquor and I am not a fan of black jelly beans, so it's probably not the drink for me. I can't think of anything to cook that I'd want to add the taste of black jelly beans to.... LOL.

    1. Me neither! I've googled recipes and found that most of them involve seafood, which I don't eat.

  6. I've always wondered what it tasted like... maybe you could substitute it in cocktails that call for Jaggermeister (which also tastes like black licorice)? Seems like popular mixers are orange liquors: http://www.drinksmixer.com/cat/2307/ How fun!! :) I'm enjoying catching up on your 40 challenge....I still have a few more to read, so pardon while I clog up your email!! :)LOL


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