10 Absinthes You Should Be Drinking

10 Absinthes You Should Be Drinking

10 Absinthes You Should Be Drinking

10 Absinthes You Should Be Drinking

Emma Janzen, a freelance drinks writer and photographer, discovers and reviews her 10 favorite absinthes in this post in the Serious Eats website.

Which absinthe should you buy? It depends if you want traditional or new wave…

Absinthe is one of the world’s most misunderstood spirits. Yes, it was the drink of choice for artists, bohemians, musicians, and writers throughout the 1800s in Europe, but contrary to its sinister reputation, absinthe won’t make you hallucinate, murder your wife, or chop off your ear.

At its essence, absinthe is a relatively uncomplicated liquor—a high proof anise-flavored spirit that contains wormwood, originally developed for medicinal purposes in Switzerland and France in the late 1700s. Thanks to its insidious reputation for inciting violence and debauchery, absinthe was banned in both Europe and America in the early 1900s, pushing production underground and furthering the spirit’s illicit notoriety.

When scientists discovered the “green fairy” doesn’t actually make people turn against their fellow man (it was more likely the high proof of the spirit that caused a ruckus), the ban lifted in America in 2007, ushering in a new renaissance for production and consumption. Initially, people went crazy for it, but it turns out this wasn’t just a fleeting fad. Just like in Europe where absinthe has been consumed for hundreds of years, there’s now a steady stream of good absinthe emerging from producers in the U.S.

Today the category spans a wide range, with some bottlings pushing the definition of how an absinthe tastes. There’s a brand for everyone from the rigid traditionalists who herald intensely licorice-flavored anise to people who prefer their absinthe a bit softer.

While we didn’t taste through every absinthe available in the United States (that certainly would have made our heads spin), we tried 18 of kinds of absinthe to drill down to this list of 10 favorite brands.

Click here to see the reviews of the 10 favorite absinthe brands

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