The Eastern European style of absinth preparation — in which the sugar cube sitting on the slotted spoon is doused with absinth, lit on fire, and then finally dropped into the absinth — is usually referred to as the ‘fire ritual’ or ‘Bohemian’ style of absinthe preparation.
In fact, there is more than one Eastern European style of absinth preparation, and they all seem to use fire. For example, in this video:
absinth is prepared using the huffing ritual, a different method than the fire ritual — but both use fire prominently.
The Eastern European fire ritual may look cool, but we do not recommend using it with traditional absinthes such as Lucid. There are at least a couple of reasons why this is so. Firstly, the fire ritual typically adds a 1:1 ratio of iced water to absinth, which may not provide sufficient levels of dilution to fully liberate the herbs in traditional absinthe. Thus, traditional absinthe’s herbal flavor is at least partially lost. Secondly, the taste and smell of the burned sugar may mask traditional absinthe’s complex herbal aromatics as well as overpower its inherent herbal flavor.
We recommend that when drinking a traditional French or Swiss absinthe, prepare it in the traditional way. Always keep in mind that absinthe and absinth are two completely different products!