What is Absinthe?

Absinthe is a distilled, highly alcoholic spirit derived from herbs and the fundamental ingredient: grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium).

It was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, especially in France, particularly among impressionist artists and writers such as Van Gogh, Lautrec and Baudelaire – and at the height of its popularity was banned. To read more about its fascinating history visit our time line.

The process which gives Verte/green absinthe its colour is traditionally by maceration of herbs in the spirit – imparting chlorophyll from the herbs to achieve the desired depth of colour.  Verte/green absinthe turns to a cloudy, opalescent milky green/yellow (know as the louche) when mixed with water and is historically referred to as La Fée Verte’ The Green Fairy.  For more information on how to serve French absinthe click here.

Traditional Swiss, such as our La Fée X.S Suisse Absinthe, is a clear ‘La Bleue’ absinthe that turns a cloudy, opalescent milky white when water is added.

All quality absinthes are highly aromatic, and have a bitter taste. Depending on origin, absinthe typically has an alcohol content of around 68% abv for French absinthe and 53% abv Swiss.


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