Homemade Absynthe

Those who regularly follow my blog know I virtually have a brewery in my home – I blame it on my Black Irish grandfather who was always brewing beer and wines in his cellar. I mainly brew mead, but I will soon add beers and ciders to my repertoire. At the last mead party one of the ladies with a more anarchist bent showed us how to make infused Absynthe using herbs and vodka. The following method is not for true Absynthe which requires a distillery to make, but it is an easy method anyone can try at home. It can be used as just an alcoholic beverage, as ritual aid to reach ecstatic trance, as a libation for the dead, or as an aid to commune with the dead.

Absynthe is something to enjoy now and then as a treat, but the hangover’s not too much fun. Some people may find wormwood to be habit-forming so watch yourself if you have an addictive personality.

Infused Absynthe

1 oz dried chopped wormwood
1 tbsp angelica root
1 tsp hyssop
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 tsp crushed cardamon
1/4 tsp fennel or anise seeds
2 cups of white sugar (optional)
1 litre of Vodka (40 + proof)

Add the wormwood to the bottle of vodka and let it infuse for 5-14 days , depending on the strength and bitterness you want, shaking at least once every day and then strain out the wormwood. For the next step add the rest of the herbs to the bottle and pour in the strained wormwood-vodka. Allow to infuse for another 5 days, again shaking the bottle every day, then strain and drink or add the absynthe to a pot with 1 cup of sugar and heat until boiling and all the sugar is dissolved, then cool and pour back into the bottle for drinking. This turns it into a liqueur and makes it much easier to swallow without making horrible facial expressions from the bitterness!

To properly mix your absynthe for drinking, pour 1 part absynthe to 3-5 parts ice-cold water into a glass. If you didn’t sweeten the absynthe to make a liqueur, you can pour the water over sugar cubes in a slotted spoon so they dissolve into the absynthe, ready to drink. Adding water, however, makes drinking the absynthe more enjoyable (bearable) than adding sugar.


8 Responses to “Homemade Absynthe”

  1. Sarah says:

    Also, in my province we even have the only absinthe brewer in Canada – Taboo Absinthe

  2. That was my experience on absinthe. Drunk but with a bit of a sparkly clarity. Nothing too dreeeeammy

  3. It’s not illegal in the US as of…this year, I think?, and from a few things I’ve read, the thujone isn’t supposed to be a sizable part of the contents, though cheap brands from the Czech and Russia will add obscene amounts to theirs to try to get people to buy them anyway. People who were seeing things on absinthe back in the day were also likely on laudanum. It’s only supposed to get you very drunk, with an odd kind of clarity to the experience.

  4. Cory says:

    Yes, it’s legal here, even with a thujone content now (the non-thujone version has been available for several years). I actually have several bottles that I’ve purchased over time to compare. So far none of them have matched the lovely experience I had while in Europe drinking absinthe, so there may still be some differences in what is allowed here vs. over there. You can find lots of good (if a bit expensive) absinthe available for import at http://www.drinkupny.com/. I hear the Spanish absinthe is some of the best now, though I’ve not been able to try it yet.

    I like your suggestion about adding the sugar to make it a liqueur, Sarah. I have tried making it on my own in the past and it is always intensely bitter. I will have to try your method now!

    Love the topic, love the drink! May the madness make you merry while you drink of the green fairy!

  5. beki says:

    This recipe is from the book “Please don’t feed the bears.” by Abjorn Intonsus (hey, that’s what it says!), Microcosm Publishing, 2006. It’s a great book!
    I’ve actually got a batch that’s been marinating for 2 months now: it looks like tar! Used 50% vodka this time; next test batch I think I’m going to try the 125% rum as a base.
    For those in the States: you can make a more potent and traditional batch by using Everclear – apparently it will only turn green once you are above 120 proof.

  6. mugami says:

    I make mine without the sugar and I use everclear. I always wondered why mine ended up brown. So thanks for the note about proofing. I’ll check for is higher one next time. I think this bottle is 110.
    And I age mine for a few months. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? Ergo, is it more of a pro or a con, or does it not matter in the slightest?
    I also add maté and freshly pureéd wintergreen about a week before I drink it, AFTER I take out the cardamon.
    And does anyone have any tips on clarifying it? I don’t like the murky look. It reminds me of tobacco swill…or german beer. I hate beer. How unamerican of me.

  7. Mugami says:

    I now add crushed morning glory seeds to mine. It’s like heaven.
    Also used 151 rum as the base and use twice the caraway. Aged 8 months. Good.