Absinthe Frappé

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Cocktail History

The Absinthe Frappé is a classic cocktail of unknown origin that was created sometime in the 1800s. It’s made with a simple mixture of absinthe, water, and simple syrup, and it became popular back when absinthe was known to be a good morning pick-me-up or apéritif before the spirit’s wide-scale ban in 1912.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Absinthe: This is the base spirit. It adds its distinct licorice flavor. We used Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte made by Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because it’s made locally to us.

Water: This is chilled and shaken with the other ingredients to water down the bold flavor and booziness of the spirit. We used filtered water.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with sugar and water. You can buy bottled simple syrup in a store, but we made ours at home using Alex’s recipe because it tastes better fresh and is very easy to make.

Lemon Wedge: This is the garnish. It adds fresh citrus aroma and flavor when dropped into the drink.

Tasting Notes

The Absinthe Frappé begins with light aromas of licorice and follows with a bracingly cold and herbal but overall pleasant taste that highlights absinthe in its purest form with an added sweetness that helps to numb the burn. The aftertaste goes down similarly, leaving a sugar-tinged herbal note on the tongue.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although she admitted it was light and refreshing, Kendall just couldn’t get past the fact that this drink is, at the end of the day, straight absinthe. Alex, on the other hand, quite enjoyed this hot-weather take on the traditional way of drinking the spirit.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This cocktail recipe sort of defies the rules since it’s literally just one alcoholic ingredient sweetened with sugar and stretched with water. It’s even simpler than the Old Fashioned, which may disqualify it as a cocktail altogether, in my opinion. That aside, I actually liked this one! Absinthe’s shockingly strong herbal quality was mellowed out quite a bit thanks to the syrup and water, and all three created a sip that had plenty of the wormwood liquor’s character with a nice dessert sweetness.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐
“If there is one spirit that I just cannot drink no matter how many times I try, it’s absinthe. I know many find its licorice flavor very pleasant, but I realized recently that it reminds me of the smell of the tanning oil my mom used during my childhood, and I just can’t get past it. For that reason and since this drink was literally just absinthe, a hint of sugar, and water, I couldn’t drink more than a sip. It’s very light and refreshing, and I can certainly see why folks like it. It just wasn’t for me.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 oz Absinthe
 1 oz Chilled Water
 ½ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 1 Lemon Wedge

Method
1

Add absinthe, water, simple syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Top with more crushed ice as needed.

5

Garnish with lemon wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Absinthe
 1 oz Chilled Water
 ½ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 1 Lemon Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add absinthe, water, simple syrup, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Top with more crushed ice as needed.

5

Garnish with lemon wedge.

Absinthe Frappé

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Absinthe Cocktails

If you like this absinthe-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Weeper’s Joy: An absinthe cocktail made with sweet vermouth, Kümmel, simple syrup, and orange curaçao

 De La Louisiane: A whiskey cocktail made with Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, absinthe, Peychaud’s Creole bitters, and a cherry

 Brain Duster: A whiskey and absinthe cocktail made with sweet vermouth, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a lemon twist

 Empress Corpse Reviver No. 2: A gin cocktail made with triple sec, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe, and an orange twist

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