Aged absinthes from the pre-ban absinthe era are rare and become rarer every time someone enjoys a bottle! Not only are these 100 year old absinthes drinkable, their taste is coveted by many absinthe connoisseurs, who pay top dollar for a bottle. These aged absinthes are notable not only for their coveted taste but also for their unique amber brown color. Though the absinthes were once green, just like ‘regular’ absinthes, the chlorophyll has aged and turned from green to amber brown, in exactly the same way that the chlorophyll in leaves turns from green to brown as it ages. This aging process results in a markedly different taste that is said to be worth trying if you can spare the expense.
Absinthe is green for the same reason that leaves are green: both contain chlorophyll.
close-up of plant cell containing chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the naturally occurring green pigment in plants. Why is there chlorophyll in absinthe? Because absinthe is whole herbs distilled in alcohol, and the whole herbs contain chlorophyll which turns the absinthe green.
Grand wormwood, one of the ingredients in Lucid Absinthe
Over a hundred years ago, a pink absinthe was apparently sold to women, though no surviving bottles exist for purposes of verification. The pink color does not occur naturally in the herbs, so the pink absinthe may have contained dyes.
an old advertisement for pink absinthe
In modern day, there are also absinthes being sold with colors other than green. For example, as of the time of this writing, there is a ‘red’ absinthe on the market. Please be aware that the natural color of absinthe is green (or, in the case of some surviving pre-ban absinthes, amber brown). Any other color is not the natural color of the chlorophyll and is therefore not naturally occurring in the absinthe. Moreover, even some green absinthes derive their color from artificial dyes rather than from the chlorophyll in the herbs. Only authentic absinthes such as Lucid absinthe get their green color naturally from the chlorophyll in the herbs. Always check the ingredients list on your absinthe bottle to make sure that your absinthe does not contain any artificial dyes.
Preparing Lucid Absinthe according to historical tradition brings out its unique and delicious taste, as well as its complex flavor notes. Lucid Absinthe is a very strong spirit that should be diluted with iced water prior to consumption, at a ratio of 3-5 parts iced water to 1 part absinthe. Diluting at this ratio frees the essential oils of the herbs from the alcohol, thus releasing Lucid Absinthe’s complex herbal taste.
In addition, like any alcoholic spirit, Lucid Absinthe should always be chilled prior to consumption, as chilled absinthe is delicious but warm absinthe goes down very badly.
For a more detailed explanation of how to drink Lucid Absinthe properly, please watch:
Please note: drinking absinthe neat or out of the bottle is never recommended, as the absinthe will be highly concentrated and its complex herbal flavor will be lost.
Add absinthe, simple syrup and fill with crushed ice. Pour mixture into shaker and shake vigorously. Pour contents into glass, top with splash of soda water and garnish with mint sprig. Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a frappe style glass. Voila!