Absinthe

faerie w/absinthelogo
Do-It-Yourself Absinthe, my personal recipes, very popular among my friends, and a big hit at my Absinthe Bar at Burning Man 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. This is the home of the original do-it-yourself absinthe kits. (We no longer sell DIY absinthe kits, but these guys do:

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750 ml. 151 rum

Original "Classic" Formula

One ounce dried chopped wormwood

One tablespoon fennel or anise seeds
One tablespoon dried angelica root
One teaspoon dried hyssop leaves
One half teaspoon coriander seeds
One quarter teaspoon caraway seeds
One pinch cardomon pods
750 ml. 151 rum

note: this is the traditional european formula, like Van Gogh drank.

"Seminole Recipe"

One ounce dried chopped wormwood

One tablespoon uva-ursi leaves
One tablespoon chopped calamus root
One tablespoon fennel or anise seeds
One half teaspoon coriander seeds
One quarter teaspoon caraway seeds
One pinch cardomon pods
750 ml. 151 rum

"Seer's Formula"

note: This is a new, improved recipe. We replaced angelica and hyssop with white sage and spearmint and came up with stronger, mellower absinthe.

One ounce dried chopped wormwood

One tablespoon fennel or anise seeds
One tablespoon white sage
One teaspoon spearmint
One half teaspoon coriander seeds
One quarter teaspoon caraway seeds
One pinch cardomon pods

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The directions are the same for all formulas. In a glass container add the wormwood to the 151. Set aside in the dark for four days (minimum--you get the majority of the thujone)) to ten days (maximum--all the thujone but a nasty, bitter taste). This will give you an authentic green-colored tincture (the green comes from the chlorophyll, and does not indicate the presence of the active ingredient, thujone). Only 151 rum gives a greenish hue (vodka will not). Then strain out the wormwood and add all the remining herbs and spices. Wait four more days, then strain these out and serve. Best drinken mixed with cold water half and half. Add a teaspoon of sugar if it too bitter. Other people prefer shots with a water chaser (have it ready). Or dribble a little in a tall glass with ice and sour mix or cranberry juice.

Warning: absinthe tastes wicked enough as it is. A double dose of wormwood makes it almost undrinkable.

Note: Absinthe should never be made with wormwood essential oil.


[IMAGE] More recipes for absinthe cocktails.green fairy

Warnings: Avoid prolonged and excessive use. Not for pregnant women as it can cause miscarraige, birth defects, and abortion. Highly addictive and can cause brain damage. Illegal to sell in final form.

Updated May 2010.

Don't want to make your own? Czech out these guys. They can import several varieties of absinthe, including King of Spirits Gold (world's strongest) and red absinthe! It is legal because it is sent from europe to you. The also can send you a Czech variety of Cannibis Vodka.

wormwood bushWormwood

Notes on the Psychopharmacology of Absinthe

  I get email asking me about the effects of my absinthe. It contains the same active ingredients as distilled absinthe and has the same effects. Now, what are these effects? I describe them as a cross between pot, exstacy, cocaine, strong coffee, and vodka.

  Thujone is discussed elsewhere in the Absinthe Ring, but I think there may be more to the effects of absinthe than thujone, namely the highly-complex synergistic effect of a psychoactive cocktail. Other ingredients in the recipe have their own reputations. Angelica root is chewed as a drug in Lapland. Anise and fennel seed both contain potentially psychoactive anethole. Caraway seeds are reputed aphrodisiacs and the basis of the German liqueur kummel. Coriander is mentioned as an aphrodisiac in the Arabic One Thousand and One Nights, and is said to conjure up the devil when used in combination with fennel in the same text. Other recipes call for hops, a sedative and hypnotic, and calamus root, which contains psychoactive asarones, used as an inebriant by Native Americans. And then there is the hyssop, a nervine. White sage has the same spiritual and medicinal properties as angelica and also contains thujone. Spearmint has the same properties as hyssop. Add it all up, the sum is greater than the whole.

  Conversely, the negative effects of absinthe may also have to do with ingredients other than thujone. Everyone has read of the old absinthe ritual involving pouring absinthe over sugar cubes and ending with the absinthe turning milky as cold water is added to it. Competitors with Pernod flooded the market with imitation absinthe made by mixing industrial alcohol with flavorings, copper sulfate for the green color, and antimony trichloride to make it turn milky when water was added. These ersatz absinthes were neurotoxic, and the syndrome called absinthism may have actually been due to copper sulfate and antimony trichloride poisoning (as well as the 150 proof).

Astrologically, wormwood is ruled by Mars, and caraway, fennel, and licorice are ruled by Mercury (And you know those two are when they get together.)

Now the new "Seminole Recipe" contains two major potentiating ingredients from the Native American tradition. Uva-ursi (arctostaphylos uva-ursi), also known as kinnikinnik or Indian tobacco, was smoked and used as a herbal tea to purge the body of bad spirits. Western herbalists use it to cure kidneys stones and bladder infections, which are bad spirits in their own right. Calamus root (acorus calamus), also known as sweet flag and sweetroot, was chewed as an intoxicant by Native Americans, who also used it as a cure-all. It is mentioned as a medicinal in the Bible and is one of the herbs with the longest period of use on record. It was used for stomach disorders, as a perfume, as a love potion, and it has been used to flavor beer, bitters, liqueurs, and cordials.


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  • Want a Green Faerie Caddy for your glass of absinthe? Print this out.

    Local nursery refuse to carry real wormwood? Silver King and Roman (or "petite") wormwood contain little or no thujone. It should say "artemisia absinthium" on the tag.

    Absinthe pousse-cafe flambe.[IMAGE]   [IMAGE]Featured drink at burning man 2000 Absinthe bar. 6-layers: grenadine, butterscotch schnapps, blue curacao, creme de banana, creme de menthe, absinthe. Flame on!

  • Potka, another psychedelic liquer

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    Absinthe prints by permission and in association with art.com
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