6 Absinthe Drinks You Won't Regret Trying

Updated February 26, 2021
Absinthe in glass and spoon with sugar cubes

Taking sips from absinthe drinks will send anyone right back in time to a western culture where hem lines were longer, drinks were stronger, and absinthe was called "the green fairy." This brightly colored alcohol has always had mystical connotations, and the drinks that are made with it are just as sublime. Here are six absinthe drink recipes to get you started on your love-affair with the green fairy.

1. Death in the Afternoon

This simple drink was popularized by the lost generation author, Ernest Hemingway, and it adds both a tartness and fizz to the absinthe's strong flavor.



  1. In a champagne flute, pour in the ingredients.
  2. Stir and serve.
Death in the afternoon cocktail

2. Kalishnikov Shot

You'll want to be careful with this adventurous shot, since it involves using an open flame; be sure to prepare this for you and your friends when sober.


  • ¼ ounce lemon vodka
  • ¼ ounce absinthe
  • 2 lemon slices
  • Sugar cube


  1. Into a shot glass, pour the lemon vodka and absinthe.
  2. Place a lemon slice and sugar cube on top so it covers the mouth of the glass.
  3. Add two drops of absinthe to the sugar cubes.
  4. Using a stick lighter or cooking torch, caramelize the sugar. Be sure to put out any flames.
  5. Remove the lemon slice and serve.
Human hand holding light match warming sugar cubes over spoon on absinthe glasses at the bar

3. Wharf Rat

To add a little sweetness to your absinthe, turn to this recipe that combines rum, grenadine, orange juice, apricot, and absinthe together.


  • 3 ounces orange juice
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • ½ ounce white rum
  • ½ ounce apricot brandy
  • ½ ounce absinthe
  • Ice


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the orange juice, grenadine, rum, and brandy. Add ice and shake to chill.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  3. Pour in the absinthe, let it settle, and serve.
Glass of alcoholic cocktail with grenadine and absinthe and ice

4. Touch of Mint

This cocktail pairs two unusual flavors together to create a rich, refreshing experience.


  • ¼ ounce peppermint schnapps
  • ½ ounce absinthe
  • Ice
  • 1 mint sprig for garnish


  1. In a mixing glass, combine the schnapps and absinthe. Add ice and stir.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  3. Garnish with a mint spring.
Mint cocktail with ice

5. Mortal Stain

Half of the fun of this cocktail is getting to see the looks on people's faces when you order this bloodred concoction.


  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • ¼ ounce Chambord
  • ¼ ounce sour apple schnapps
  • ¼ ounce absinthe
  • Orange twist for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the grenadine, Chambord, apple schnapps, and absinthe.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for two minutes.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.
Mortal Stain Cocktail

6. Green Vesper

For something that feels a bit more old-school, turn to this strong drink.


  • ¼ ounce vodka
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ¼ ounce absinthe
  • Ice


  1. In a mixing glass, combine the vodka, gin, and absinthe.
  2. Add ice and stir to chill.
  3. Strain into a chilled Champagne flute.
Glass of absinthe cocktail

Absinthe vs. Jägermeister

Absinthe's historical reputation is one filled with mysticism and rule-breaking; best known by people for its green coloring and extremely high proof, this spirit has herbal origins as it is dervied from the wormwood plant. Due to its hallucinogenic history, the drink was outlawed in the United States until 2007, when the extremely high-proof alcohol was brought back onto American markets. While absinthe was outlawed, people substituted many of their cocktails with Jägermeister, a very similarly flavored dark-colored spirit. Both absinthe and Jägermeister fall on the black licorice scale of flavors, but where absinthe can pair incredibly well with the rich sweetness of fruits, Jägermeister can be used to add significant depth to a cocktail without watering down its flavor.

Visit the Green Fairy for a Night

While straight absinthe may be too strong of a flavor for some people to enjoy, expertly mixing it with complimentary ingredients can turn this licorice-flavored liquid into an everyman's ingredient. So, take a step on the wild side and see what the 'Green Fairy' has in store for you. And if you find you really like those herbal notes in the absinthe, you might also like Galliano cocktails.

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6 Absinthe Drinks You Won't Regret Trying