Absinthe Drip Cocktail Recipe

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If you really want to impress your guests with your mixology skills, the Absinthe Drip Cocktail is a perfect choice. With its mysterious history and complex flavor profile, absinthe has fascinated people for more than a century.

The Absinthe Drip Cocktail: Elevating Your Drinking Game

Absinthe is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing spirits out there, known for its anise flavor and mysterious reputation. But have you tried an absinthe drip cocktail?

Absinthe Drip cocktail in wine glass

This remarkable drink is a game changer when it comes to elevating your cocktail game. It’s a delicate balance of flavor, texture, and presentation that will leave you and your guests impressed.

The absinthe drip cocktail is not only a delicious drink but also a unique experience. Watching the water slowly drip onto the sugar cube, creating an ethereal cloud of absinthe, is almost like witnessing magic in action.

The flavors are complex yet harmonious, with the herbal notes of absinthe blending with the sweetness of sugar and water. If you’re looking to impress your friends or simply elevate your drinking experience to new heights, give the absinthe drip cocktail a try.

The Mysterious History of Absinthe

Absinthe has a long and mysterious history, dating back to the late 18th century in Switzerland. Its popularity soon spread throughout Europe, particularly in France, where it became the drink of choice for artists, writers, and other creatives.

However, absinthe’s reputation was soon tarnished by rumors of its supposed hallucinogenic properties and alleged links to violent crimes. In 1915, the drink was banned in many countries around the world.

Despite this ban lasting for almost a century, absinthe continued to be produced illegally and enjoyed by a dedicated group of enthusiasts. Finally, in 2007, absinthe was once again allowed to be commercially produced and sold in many countries.

Today, absinthe is celebrated as an exotic spirit with a rich history and complex flavor profile. It is slowly dripped over sugar cubes into glasses filled with ice-cold water to create an opulent ritual that has enchanted drinkers for centuries.

Absinthe Varieties: Which One to Pick?

When it comes to picking the right absinthe for your drip cocktail, it’s important to understand that not all absinthes are created equal. There are several different types of absinthe, each with their own unique qualities and flavor profiles.

The traditional French absinthe is known for its distinct anise flavor, while Swiss absinthe tends to be more herbaceous and floral. If you prefer a sweeter taste, Spanish absinthe may be the best choice for you. Czech-style absinthes are also popular thanks to their high alcohol content and unique flavors.

It’s also important to pay attention to the strength of the absinthe you choose. Most bottles will indicate their alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage on the label, with some ranging as high as 90%. For those new to absinthe or looking for a less intense experience, options with lower ABV percentages can be found as well.

Ultimately, choosing the right type of absinthe will largely depend on your personal preference and what flavor profile you’re looking for in your cocktail. Experimentation is key – don’t be afraid to try out different varieties until you find your perfect match.

Essential Tools for the Perfect Absinthe Drip Cocktail

While absinthe drips may seem like a complicated craft cocktail, you really only need a couple of tools to make it happen:

Absinthe or Slotted spoon: The absinthe spoon is a long, perforated spoon used to hold sugar cubes over the glass of absinthe. It allows for slow, controlled dripping of ice-cold water, which helps create the signature louche effect that gives absinthe its characteristic milky appearance.

Glass: An important part of this process is selecting the right glass. For an authentic experience, choose a traditional Pontarlier glass or a larger wineglass. A larger cordial glass can work too. A tall and narrow glass will trap in more of the aromatics and give you a better sensory experience.

Fountain: The fountain is used for slowly dripping water onto the sugar cube over time so that it dissolves into the chilled absinthe below. Fountains come in many styles and designs, from simple spigots attached to glass reservoirs to ornate metal pieces with multiple taps. You can also use a beverage dispenser or carafe.

Sugar cubes: Sugar cubes help sweeten and smooth out the herbal complexity of absinthe when combined with cold water dripped over them through an absinthe spoon. If you don’t have them or can’t find them, using a spoonful of table sugar also works.

Louching: The Science Behind the Sugar Cube in this Absinthe Cocktail

When it comes to making an Absinthe Drip Cocktail, the science behind the drip is fascinating. The traditional way of serving absinthe involves pouring water over a sugar cube resting on a slotted spoon, which sits atop a glass filled with absinthe. This method is known as “louching.”

The addition of water causes the essential oils in absinthe to separate, resulting in the mesmerizing opalescent color and intense aroma. This process is called “ouzo effect,” named after anise-flavored Greek liqueur. The drip also enables the release of botanical aromas in Absinthe, enhancing its unique flavor profile.

Serving Suggestions and Presentation Tips

When it comes to serving your Absinthe Drip cocktail, presentation is key. Letting your guests watch you make this cocktail gives it a real wow factor.

To start, you can use a traditional absinthe glass or a champagne flute for an elegant touch. Next, place the slotted spoon over the top of the glass or flute.

Pour your absinthe into the glass and place a sugar cube on top of the spoon. Using an Absinthe fountain or dripper, slowly drip ice water over the sugar until it dissolves into the absinthe below. As this happens, guests can watch as the mixture turns from clear to cloudy and transforms into a mesmerizing green hue.

The Perfect Absinthe Drip Cocktail Pairings: How to Delight Your Guests

The absinthe drip cocktail is an exceptional drink that will elevate any special occasion, and what better way to complete the experience than by pairing it with the perfect dish? The unique flavors of absinthe and its herbal notes mean that it pairs exceptionally well with certain foods.

Here are some delicious food and cocktail pairings that will leave your guests delighted. 

For a sweet and savory pairing, try serving an absinthe drip cocktail with a cheese plate. The strong flavor of the cheese contrasts perfectly with the delicate flavors of the cocktail, creating a delightful flavor combination.

You can also pair it with smoked salmon, which balances well with the anise notes in absinthe. For those who have a sweet tooth, serve some desserts like chocolate truffles or lemon tartlets! The intense sweetness of these desserts complements the earthy tones found in absinthe beautifully.

Also Try These Absinthe Cocktails

If you love the taste of absinthe, try the Green Fairy. It features absinthe with egg white and lemon.

Tilted view of Green Fairy drink in hurricane glass

And the Absinthe Suissesse, which features egg white, orange flower water and creme de menthe.

Bright green Absinthe Suissesse in cocktail glass

Make an Absinthe Drip Tonight

The Absinthe Drip Cocktail is a strikingly unique drink that has been enjoyed for centuries. With its fascinating history and intricate preparation process, it is sure to impress any guest at your next gathering.

Whether you’re looking to spice up your home bartending skills or simply enjoy a delicious and intriguing drink, the Absinthe Drip Cocktail is a fantastic choice. 

Absinthe Drip cocktail in wine glass

Absinthe Drip Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Absinthe Drip cocktail is very old school, but really fascinating to make. It's also a great way to drink absinthe!


  • 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Ice cold water for dripping


  1. Pour the absinthe into a cordial glass.
  2. Take a slotted spoon and put it across the rim of the glass.
  3. Set a sugar cube on top of the spoon. (see notes)
  4. Slowly drip about 5 ounces of cold filtered water over the sugar cube so that it all drips into the glass.
  5. Stir and serve.


If you don't have sugar cubes, a teaspoon of caster sugar or table sugar will work.

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Last Updated:

October 25, 2023