Different Typese of Absinthe

Have you always wanted to try absinthe, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Well, you’re not alone. Absinthe is a historically infamous spirit. It’s an anise-flavored spirit derived from several plants, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. It’s not only beautiful to look at, but it packs quite a punch in the alcohol department, ranging anywhere from 90 to 148 proof in the United States. Absinthe originated in Switzerland in the 18th century. Later, several distinct styles, colors, and tastes were developed. In this article, we will dive headfirst into the different types of absinthe. We hope it helps you find the type that is right for you!

Preparation is Key

To begin with, there are two main different types of absinthe acknowledged by absinthe producers worldwide: distilled and cold-mixed absinthe. For distilled absinthe, producers start by macerating botanicals and combining them with distilled alcohol. They then re-distill the combination. This is the most traditionally accepted way of making absinthe, and it yields about 72% ABV. The traditional green color typically seen in absinthe actually comes from the chlorophyll in the plants.

Mixed absinthe is a more modern way of producing absinthe. (It is also more cost-effective, as it does not require distillation). Essentially, producers mix the flavors with the alcohol itself. Mixing absinthe is widely considered by connoisseurs to be the less preferable way of producing absinthe.

The preparation of absinthe for drinking is extremely unique and most traditionally done using “The French Method.” Starting with a small glass of absinthe, a slotted spoon with a sugar cube is placed atop the glass, and ice-cold water placed in a decanter. (We highly recommend our Constellation 1797 Decanter for the job.) The water is then dripped on top of the sugar cube into the glass. The cold water causes the clear green absinthe to turn milky and opaque, ready for your imbibing pleasure.

Constellation 1797 Whiskey Decanter with Glass Ship Inside

Those are the two ways of producing absinthe and the single best way to drink it. Now, let’s delve a bit into the assorted styles of absinthe.

Absinth Bourgeois La BlancheBlanche

The first type of absinthe that we will discuss in this article is blanche absinthe (or absinthe blanche). Blanche absinthe is a colorless version of the spirit that is bottled immediately after distillation. This absinthe is formally referred to as La Bleue. Distillers wanted a colorless spirit so that it could be distributed illegally in Switzerland during the Swiss absinthe prohibition. Lower in alcohol content than other versions of absinthe, this style is perfect for beginners. Its sweet taste is ideal for cocktail making, as it requires no added sugar. We recommend trying Absinthe Bourgeois La Blanche. Distilleries in Arcon, France, produce this classic blanche, made with all-natural ingredients. It has clear and concise notes of fennel and anise.


Absinthe VerteThe second and probably the most recognizable style of absinthe is verte absinthe. Verte absinthe begins the same way as its counterpart, blanch absinthe. However, there are more steps in its production. After distillation, a mixture of herbs is steeped in the clear absinthe. This creates the notorious green hue. Because of the additional maceration process of verte absinthe, there is less water in the spirit, making this form of absinthe far higher in alcohol content. For this type of absinthe, we highly recommend Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte. Produced following the guidelines of 19th century distillers, modern-day distillers create Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte from anise seed, fennel, and grande wormwood. Steeping lemon balm and hyssop in the distilled alcohol creates a gorgeous green color that shines brightly through the beautiful glass bottle. At around $65.00, this absinthe gives a traditional and luxurious feel at an affordable price. We recommend serving this stunning green spirit in a beautiful glass to highlight its vivacious color. Our Diamond Glasses would bring a unique twist to your drinking experience. Who knows, you might even have a visit from the green fairy!


Absinthe La Fee BohemianThe number three style of absinthe on our list is not only unique in its taste but in its serving method. Bohemian-style absinthe is a traditional Czech style of absinthe. This style of absinthe is prepared without anise and is technically more of a “wormwood bitter.” Bohemian-style absinthe packs all the punch of traditional absinthe but without the anise and fennel flavors. Although a different type of spirit, absinthe connoisseurs still consider Bohemian-style absinthe due to the use of wormwood and the high alcohol content. Due to the lack of herbs in Bohemian-style absinthe, it’s prepared for drinking differently. Instead of simply pouring ice water atop the sugar cube into the absinthe glass, the Bohemian style of preparation requires that the sugar cube be soaked in absinthe first and then set ablaze. The preparer drops the sugar cube into the absinthe, and the water flows from the decanter or fountain to stanch the flames. This is a modern ritual that started sometime in the 1990s, despite false historical origin claims. To try Bohemian-style absinthe, we recommend La Fée Bohemian. This beautiful green, modern-style absinthe is low in anise flavors, making it perfect for the Bohemian style of preparation and for cocktails!

Absinthe, its history, and its unique preparation method may seem intimidating at first glance. But taking the time to learn more about this intriguing spirit can definitely assist you in your journey to broadening your drinking horizons. (If it becomes a favorite, our Octopus Bar Tray makes a stunning base to display your absinthe glasses, slotted spoons, and decanters.) 

We hope this article assisted you in clearing up the cloudiness associated with absinthe and its many different versions. We encourage you to learn more about this fabulous spirit and try to find the kind that best suits your tastebuds, whether it be blanche, verte, Bohemian, or another style of absinthe.

Which type of absinthe has caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.