Ordering absinthe over the internet is easy as pie, a lot of fun, and only a little risky. So don’t be a pussy!
lot of people say to me, “Why order it on the internet when I can just
go get it at the liquor store, its legal now right?” The answer is yes
and no. In 2007 absinthe brands started popping up on liquor-store
shelves across the country. Articles and advertisements proclaimed
“Absinthe is Legal”, and “An End to Prohibition.” However, things
weren’t really as they seemed. What happened was the TTB (Alcohol &
Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau) updated policy on the use of the name
“Absinthe.” Previously its use was ban from labeling and advertising of
distilled spirits, but now its use is permissible given that the spirit
is “thujone-free,” in compliance with FDA regulation.
comes from the grand wormwood in absinthe and is “alleged”
hallucinogenic compound. Scientific research has all but disproved the
early 19th century claim of psychoactive effects and absinthes
containing thujone are legal across much of the world. In the EU the
legal limit of thujone in spirits is 10mg/kg and if the product is
labeled as a bitter the limit is 35mg/kg. There is a limit because
although it’s not hallucinogenic, it’s still a drug. It will never harm
you in small amounts but large doses have been known to kill lab rats.
Given the regulation, you would die due to alcohol poisoning many times
over in order to consume enough absinthe to be affected by thujone
What’s available in the US now is considered true
absinthe because it involves use of the herb of absinthes namesake,
Artemisia absinthium (grand wormwood). Because of the
“thujone-free” restriction in the US we are restricted to absinthes that meet the FDA restriction of 10 ppm (parts per
million) thujone or 10mg/kg. This doesn’t mean that they are bad, it
just means that many European absinthes and “bitters”, from 11-35mg/kg
aren’t available for US retail purchase, thus restricting selection.
Also, some of the best absinthe comes from small foreign producers that
lack the resources to export large enough quantities for US
Now that that’s all cleared up let’s talk about
what absinthe is. It is a distilled spirit that has been flavored and
colored by the maceration of a number of herbs including but not
limited to grand wormwood, green anise, and florence or sweet fennel.
These ingredients lend to the ‘black licorice’ flavor of most absinthe.
I personally despise black licorice but find the flavor of traditional
absinthes to be quite delightful. If you just can’t handle the flavor
then either you need to find a weaker absinthe or one that is anise
free. Anise free absinthes can have flavors ranging from almond to
candy to citrus.
Absinthe can be red, orange, yellow, blue, black, clear, and… Oh ya green. I
say this for the purist or that person seeking a true experience, green
is traditional, yellowish can be too, clear and blue are a Swiss style
and any other color is an attempted variation or gimmick.
you’ve experienced absinthe before and were scared by the overwhelming
flavor, that’s because you did it wrong. It’s not a good idea to down
it in shots like a frat-boy on Thirsty Thursday. The traditional
preparation of absinthe is to dilute about one part absinthe with about
two parts sugary water. With a traditional preparation you will also
have what is known as a louche effect. The booze is a transparent,
however when you add water to traditional absinthe it becomes cloudy
I mentioned risk in my opening line. We scoff at
risk and laugh at danger because we are booze-venture seekers! Right?
The risky part of importing your own absinthe is that it is possible
that it may be seized by US customs. They won’t throw you in jail or
fine you but you will be out the money for the booze and the shipping.
The way around this little problem is to buy from an absinthe
distributor that ships product via private courier. Any reputable site
should provide information about how they ship and some even offer a
full refund if the package doesn’t make it to you for any reason.
you don’t know where to buy absinthe on the internet try this, Google
it. I know it sounds easy but it’s ridiculous how many people ask me
how to find absinthe on the internet. Type in “order absinthe”, or “buy
absinthe”, or just “absinthe” and you will find more than enough. My
recommendations for trustworthy, reputable, and quality absinthe sales
are Alandia World of Absinthe, and Absinthe Classics.
you’ve been concerned or apprehensive about ordering absinthe online,
man up because it’s not that big-a-deal. Do a little homework and
you’ll find a huge selection of high quality booze with fair prices and
relatively no risk to import. Oh, and since I’m at work slavin’ away
behind a computer, have a drink for me.