Absinthe: 8 recipes at home

Absinthe: 8 recipes at home

It's no secret that modern absinthe is radically different from what was produced in the 19th century. Under the pressure of various laws, the recipe changed and, unfortunately, not for the better. Food coloring can often be found in modern absinthe, which indicates the quality of the drink in general.

If you want to feel the original taste of this herbal alcohol and understand its essence, try making your own absinthe at home based on one of the eight recipes from Vzboltai.

French absinthe recipe from 1855 (Pontarlier)

French absinthe recipe of 1855 (Pontarlier)

Step 1. Collection and preparation of raw materials

The proportions are based on 1 liter of beverage. Keep in mind that the mildness of the absinthe flavor in all methods of its preparation appears only after some time.

Plants, especially those used for dyeing, should be carefully selected and have a bright green color; blackened leaves should be removed. This must be done, otherwise you will get a too bitter drink with an unpleasant dirty color.

Collection and preparation of raw materials for absinthe

  1. Heads of bitter wormwood (dried and peeled, without pieces of stems) - 25 g

  2. Anise - 50 g

  3. Fennel - 50 g

  4. 85% alcohol - 0.95 liters

Soak the herbal substances in food alcohol. Steeping is carried out to facilitate the dissolution of the extracted components.

It can be either hot - on a steam or sand bath (or brewing with hot liquid), or cold, which lasts a little longer than hot.

Solids - roots and seeds - take longer to soak than, say, flowers and leaves.

"Hot" steeping is carried out for at least 12 hours.

"Cold" steeping (usual infusion in a warm place) lasts 1 week (recommended).

When soaking in a steam bath, pressure is generated in a closed flask. To drain it, you can use t.н. with a water seal or a reflux condenser.

Step 2. The distillation process

Then add 0.45 liters of water and the entire mixture is distilled in a distillation still (distiller). The infusion is distilled together with the herbs.

The distillation continues until there is no liquid left in the flask and only wet herbs remain.

This will yield approximately 0.95 liters of distillate.

Filter the residue through any available filter.

The process of distilling absinthe

You can continue the further distillation. The residue is very valuable, t.к. contains a lot of essential oil, poured into the next batch for distillation.

Tips for distillation

Tiles can serve as a heat source for sublimation. A layer of heat-insulating material, such as asbestos, can be placed between the tile and the flask.

The flask can also be lined with asbestos sheet (to make an asbestos coat) for better heating. The flask can also be placed in a frying pan with a layer of salt or sand.

From the very beginning of the distillation, alcohol vapors saturated with vapors of essential oils of herbs that were in the infusion begin to evaporate from the infusion. Simply by insisting on wormwood you can get the original drink. But after distillation, it will definitely be much better in taste and effectiveness.

Important! Be extremely careful when heating alcohol, alcohol is a flammable liquid.

Step 3. Coloring of absinthe

For coloring absinthe in green color is taken:

  1. Fine dry and cleaned wormwood - 10 g

  2. Dried hyssop flowers - 10 g

  3. Dried lemon balm - 5 g

  4. The resulting clear distillate - 0.45 liters

All the ingredients are placed in a steam bath together with the distillate, or better yet, in a special apparatus - a colorator made of purified copper heated with water or steam - and heated to a temperature of about 50 degrees. Under the influence of temperature, plants give the liquid their natural chlorophyll dye, as well as aroma.

The resulting liquid is then slowly cooled and filtered through a filter, allowing the herbs to drain well. Add enough water to get a content of 74 degrees of alcohol and get 1 liter of product at the output - this is the quantity stage.

After that, the drink is sent to the warehouse for aging - this is the last stage of quality. During prolonged storage (3-4 weeks), the green color of absinthe turns yellow, which is normal.

The recipes below have a similar sequence of preparation of the final drink, so only the differences in composition and important additional notes on preparation will be described.

Recipe for Swiss absinthe from Montpellier

Proportions are indicated per 100 liters of beverage.

  1. Bitter wormwood - 2 kg

  2. Anise - 6 kg

  3. Fennel - 4 kg

  4. Coriander - 1 kg

  5. Angelica seeds - 500 g

  6. Food alcohol 85% - 95 liters

Coloring absinthe

  1. Roman wormwood - 1 kg

  2. Turkish mint (Moldovan snakehead) - 750 g

  3. Hyssop flowers - 750 g

Recipe of Swiss absinthe from Lyon

Recipe for Swiss absinthe from Lyon

The proportions are indicated for 100 liters of drink.

  1. Bitter wormwood - 3 kg

  2. Anise - 8 kg

  3. Fennel - 4 kg

  4. Angelica seeds - 500 g

  5. Food alcohol 85% - 95 liters

Coloring the absinthe

  1. Roman wormwood - 1 kg

  2. Lemon balm - 1 kg

  3. Hyssop flowers - 500 g

  4. Veronica officinalis - 500 g

Recipe for colorless Swiss absinthe

The proportions are indicated for 100 liters of beverage.

  1. Bitter wormwood - 2.75 kg

  2. Roman wormwood - 1.125 kg

  3. Hyssop flowers - 1.1 kg

  4. Veronica officinalis - 1.55 kg

  5. Alpine wormwood - 1.55 kg

  6. Noble chamomile (Roman chamomile) - 1.225 kg

  7. Anise - 5.25 kg

  8. Fennel - 5.25 kg

  9. Angelica seeds - 5.55 kg

  10. Food alcohol 85% - 95 liters

Absinthe: 8 recipes at home

Recipe for absinthe with Neufchatel

The proportions are indicated per 100 liters of beverage.

  1. Bitter wormwood - 6 kg

  2. Anise - 6 kg

  3. Fennel - 5 kg

  4. Coriander - 1 kg

  5. Hyssop flowers - 1 kg

  6. Peppermint - 1 kg

  7. Lemon balm - 1 kg

  8. Licorice (licorice root) - 500 g

Mash all the ingredients and soak them for 24 hours in 15 liters of 85% food alcohol, then add 15 liters of water and distill only until you get 15 liters of alcoholic liquid.

Add 65 liters of 85% alcohol and 20 liters of water.

Coloring of absinthe

Dye green with indigo blue and caramel yellow dyes.

Notes: Peppermint / Mentha piperita / Peppermint is the only mint that contains menthol and has a pure cold "minty" taste, so it should not be replaced with anything, but rather bought at the pharmacy in the form of mint tincture or oil.

Licorice of Wood / Glycyrrhiza glabra / Licorice (Licorice root) is used as a sweetener. You can simply replace it with sugar syrup, because.к. it does not have a nasty aftertaste.

Absinthe recipe (From Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes, 1903)

Absinthe recipe from 1903


  1. Bitter wormwood - 15 g

  2. Roman wormwood - 20 g

  3. Fennel - 25 g

  4. Star anise - 25 g

  5. Green anise - 25 g

  6. Coriander - 4 g

  7. Hyssop flowers - 10 g

How to make

  1. Moisten with a little water, let soak.

  2. Add 1 liter of 95% alcohol. Soak for 3 days.

  3. Add 0.85 liters of water. Steep for another day.

  4. Distill to get 1.25 liters of absinthe 60 - 70%.

Color the resulting product by steeping for 10-15 days with herbs:

  1. Mint - 5 g

  2. Lemon balm - 3 g

  3. Roman wormwood - 5 g

  4. Lemon zest - 1.5 g

  5. Liquorice - 5 g

Then age and filter.

Absinthe recipe (From Dale Pendell's Pharmako/Poeia)

Recipe for absinthe from Dale Pendell's Pharmako/Poeia

  1. Bitter wormwood - 30 g

  2. Hyssop flowers - 8.5 g

  3. Morning glory - 1.8 g

  4. Melissa - 6 g

  5. Anise - 30 g

  6. Fennel - 25 g

  7. Star anise - 10 g

  8. Coriander - 3.2 g

How to do it

Add 0.8 liters of 85-95% alcohol. Soak for a week, shaking occasionally.

Add 0.6 liters of water. Steep for another day.

Drain the resulting liquid, squeezing the herbs well. It will make about 1.5 liters of green liquid. Then the liquid must be distilled.

The worst recipe allows you to skip this step, but in this case, this product will not be absinthe.

During distillation, replace the receiver when the distillate turns yellow. This is the weak part. It can be saved and added in subsequent distillations, but it can spoil the already distilled product.

The final step is to color the liquor by repeated infusion.

Coloring the absinthe

  1. 4.2 grams of mint

  2. 1.1 grams of lemon balm

  3. 3 grams of wormwood

  4. 1 gram of lemon peel

  5. 4.2 grams of liquorice

Color the resulting product by steeping for 3-4 days with the above herbs, filter, bottle.

You may want to add concentrated sugar syrup.

You will get about 1 liter of absinthe with a strength of about 70 degrees, similar to Swiss-style absinthe.


Before peeling, scald the lemon with boiling water and peel with a sharp knife without touching the white layer.

If the amount of infusion and the container allow, it is better to put the whole lemon, scalding it and slightly crushing it without breaking the integrity of the peel.

Ancient recipe for absinthe

  1. 1.75 liters of alcohol from 65% and above

  2. 3 teaspoons of bitter wormwood

  3. Crushed seeds from 16 cardamom pods

  4. 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds

  5. 3 teaspoons of anise seeds

  6. 3 teaspoons of chopped angelica root

  7. Sugar syrup

How to do it

Mix alcohol and wormwood, leave for 48 hours.

Grind herbs and spices in a mortar.

Add the chopped herbs to the infusion.

Close tightly and keep in a dark place for a week.

The infusion is distilled together with the herbs. The recipe yields 1.25 liters of absinthe with a strength of 65 % or more. Filter.

Tips and other useful information

Keep in mind that your drink will only stay green for two to three weeks. Later, due to the aging of chlorophyll cells, it will inevitably turn yellow; which will make it less spectacular, but in the eyes of connoisseurs it will acquire a certain elitism.

You can also prepare black absinthe. Its recipe will differ from the classic drink by using the roots of bitter wormwood, which does not contain chlorophyll, instead of the heads and tops of this plant, as well as the use of black acacia infusion or common food coloring for further coloring...

If you want to speed up the infusion process, you should place the jar with the liquid in a sand or steam bath, after which you can start distilling after 12 hours.

In order to reduce the pressure of the heated alcohol on the walls of the vessel, the latter should be equipped with a lid with a water seal. However, it should be noted that true connoisseurs of the "green fairy" prefer drinks obtained by conventional (cold) infusion.

A few words about the distillation of absinthe

  1. Do not let the herbs that are distilled together with alcohol burn, otherwise you will completely ruin the taste of absinthe.

  2. During the distillation, turn off the deflagrator (also known as a dry steamer) to keep the maximum amount of essential oils in the liquid.

  3. When making absinthe with your own hands according to any recipe, separate only the head during distillation.

    Continue the process until the liquid starts dripping at 10-second intervals.

    The plant mass remaining in the unit, still rich in essential oils, can be used as a starter for the next batch of the drink.

Update: 04.03.2021

Category: Absinthe