Home > All about absinthe > La Louche: The original absinthe ritual
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Fun with the green fairy.
-- By TheEvolutionMan in US, midwest on Fri, 23 Feb 2007 at 21:55.
I have tried "absinthe" sold in the States and must say it's far from the real thing. A friend of mine had a recipe for home made absinthe using a combination of oils which are added to several fifths of liquor (a form of everclear with lower alcohol content works best) with some green food die to give it a nice color.
We then drank it with ice water and sugar; a variation we changed until we found a recipe we liked, about on shot of absinthe to 10 or 12 oz of water. I must say it was a phenominal experience if drank in moderation, which caused no real halucinations but made simple things interesting to look at.
I must warn everyone now though: I witnessed my friend vomit violently for nearly a half hour because he thought he could drink a bunch so BEWARE. This is more dangerous than normal alcohol, so moderation is a neccessity.
My Own La Louche Ritual
-- By Sam McEly in Jefferson City, TN on Tue, 13 Mar 2007 at 06:58.
Last week, I was finally able to have my first absinthe experience. Although my friend obtained the absinthe over two months ago, as I explained in the absinthe fountain section of this web site, we wanted to get a better understanding of absinthe to ensure that we got the most from our meeting with the Green Fairy.
After obtaining a lovely absinthe fountain (which would allow us to enjoy the traditional La Louche ritual), we decided that we were going to host a six person dinner party. The small atmosphere would allow us to share our feelings and experiences with others, but at the same time maintain a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. From what we had read, this was the optimal way to enjoy absinthe and all of its effects.
After our guests arrived, we all gathered around the dinner table. After filling our glasses with absinthe, we used our fountain to perform the traditional La Louche ritual. For our first glass, we decided to only use water and no sugar. Once I gave a short toast, we all drank our glass. We discussed our initial thoughts on the drink, and then settled in for a delicious meal. Throughout our meal, the conversation flowed freely, and it was apparent that everyone was feeling quite good. When the meal was finished, we had another glass of absinthe, but this time used a sugar cube as a part of the Louche ritual. As the night wore on, we drank several more glasses, each time using sugar during the La Louche ritual. The conversations were quite intriguing, and the atmosphere remained warm and intimate throughout the evening.
Overall, my first absinthe experience exceeded my initial expectations. Although I currently do not have access to anymore absinthe, it is something I hope to experience again in the near future. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned absinthe enthusiast, using the La Louche ritual can greatly enhance your absinthe experience.
A Red Neck's review of the Louche ritual
-- By Sam Catlin in Richmond, Virginia on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 at 20:40.
I thought the Japs were the sissiest people on earth with that stupid tea ceremony, but this sucker takes first place. Move over Hirohito, here comes Jacques!
the best absinthe
-- By michelle boles in newport news Va. usa on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 at 16:18.
I would like to know what the best absinthe to buy at a reasonable price..also allowing me to enjoy the green fairy effect?. I bought a bottle 7 yrs. Ago that was so disappointing. I didn't remember it turning cloudy and yet I paid a high price for this bottle..thank you..Michelle Boles
One lump or two?
-- By Paul Johnson in High Point, N.C. USA on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 at 19:00.
Can two white suger cubes be used in the La Louche ritual?
Is it also a safty step?
-- By Steve Merrill in Boise on Mon, 9 Jul 2012 at 04:41.
Lets face it even back in the day wood alcohol versions exsisted (and may be the reason the "softening of the brain" atached to absenth - which consumption of wood alcohol does...) So by lighting it on fire (esp bootleg versions) you could see if it burned blue - good, or red - bad. Old test from U.S. prohabition. Similar to pepper on top of vodka to absorb denatured alcohol in the old U.S.S.R. Just a thought.
L'Absinthe? Oui, je l'aime.
-- By Travis M in Victoria, BC, Canada on Sat, 28 Jul 2012 at 00:28.
Absinthe is wonderful. We have Ted Breaux to thank for having it deregulated in France and in the USA. (The source/market and the market). As of 2007, we have absinthe back on Earth! YAY!
The Louche is the very best way to drink absinthe. I definitely prefer mine with sugar. The best ratio of water to absinthe is usually around 4:1 water:absinthe. The right way to know just how much to use is very hard to type. It is easier shown. Come, drink with me, I will show you!
If your absinthe does not turn cloudy with the addition of water, you ARE NOT DRINKING ABSINTHE. Absinthe must contain Grande Wormwood, Green Anise, and Florence Fennel. There are other herbs that are commonly used also, including Hyssop and Melissa. It is the first three that are considered "The Holy Trinity" and absinthe is not absinthe without them. It is the essential oils from Anise that turn cloudy, or LOUCHE. Thereby, if your absinthe does not louche, it likely does not contain The Holy Trinity, and is thereby, not actually absinthe. If your absinthe contains food colouring, it is not absinthe. If it contains sugar already, it is not absinthe.
The way the herbs act, and the medicinal properties of each are the reason that absinthe is so popular. The herbs, when consumed in their pure form, as they appear in absinthe (extracts), will create a feeling of "clear-mindedness" in their consumer. It is the combination of clear-mindedness and the looseness of intoxication from alchol that makes drinking absinthe so desirable. Artists like the lucidity of lowered inhibitions from alcohol, yet a clear-mindedness that allows them to capture the moment, for use in their art.
The very best and only real label I will trust in North America is LUCID and TABOO. Lucid is made in France by Ted Breaux's company. Taboo is made in Kelowna, BC (sort of near to where I live). Both are made with no additives, no colours, only Grand Wormwood, Green Anise, Florence Fennel, Hyssop, Melissa, and 68% or so alcohol.
Why is absinthe such high alcohol? It is a very simple and practical reason: The herbs are used as extracts. This leaves them very vulnerable to decay. The very high alcohol content preserves the herbal ingredients.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading what I can share with you about absinthe. It is my favourite topic to study/share. It is the world's most mis-understood spirit. I am thankful to Ted Breaux for doing what he had to do to de-regulate the stuff!
SIMPLE SACRED SACRAMENT......
-- By C3 in U.S.A-PA. on Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 01:58.
As with anything in Life; One gets out of it whatever One puts forth for it!!! After studying "The Sacred Proceedure" involved in procuring a cool and refreshing glass of premium Absinthe---its simple yet nessasary procurement must be followed to THE LETTER; in order to enjoy A Genuine Absinthe! It is so very simple and requires nothing SOOO exotic or hard to find...if One cannot obtain an Absinthe Spoon; a Fork will work just fine. Add COLD water and add white table sugar to taste,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,VOLIA!!! Enjoy Your Date with "Le Fee Verte!" Treat HER Kindly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
-- By Loz in Manchester,England on Sun, 19 May 2013 at 11:33.
Living in the U.K. I suppose I'm luckier than those of you in the U.S.A.,in regards to the range of different Absinthes avaliable to me(i.e. Thujone and alcohol levels).Am saving up for a basic 2 tap fountain which should cost around £45.Until then I'm having to use a glass dripper,and syrup(1:1 sugar to water),but sat at the table,you can still sit and watch 'the louche' occur,and the end result is much the same.3 glasses in and the daily grind seems to melt away.Enjoy.
When I was in Japan they had a drink called
-- By Mike Tripp in Bangor, Maine, USA on Fri, 6 Dec 2013 at 16:05.
De Absinthe, WHICH SUPPOSEDLY HAD OPUIM IN IT. IS THIS TRUE?
MIKE TRIPP BANGOR MAINE?
-- By AARON in CA on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 at 22:52.
This is aaron from the Navy
-- By AARON in CA on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 at 23:01.
an adventure awaits ...
-- By simon in ireland on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 at 21:43.
well … here i go … i had my first experience of absinthe at the weekend and i am supremely amazed … it was one night of neat spirit indulgence and i ended up on a different plane … happy i was to be there for sure … i do not like being drunk … but i love to be in a state lucid intoxication which is where i found myself … my companions ( who were drinking beer ) fell away as i soared ! … i have now ordered glasses - spoons - genuine absinthe … i will continue my journey in the proper manner ! … i intend to acquire a fountain in the new year … onwards and upwards …
Choosing which absinthe
-- By oso raven in USA on Thu, 20 Oct 2016 at 14:37.
I have been reading all about the different brands of absinthe to buy. I want something as close to original as I can afford. I want all the magic of the louching ritual too.
Duplais Absinthe Verte seems to be a good choice. I have not purchased yet...comments, recommendations are greatly appreciated.
-- By Zen in Palmdale Ca on Sat, 18 Mar 2017 at 17:42.
Nicely written. Thank you.
-- By Anonymous in Unspecified location on Fri, 16 Jun 2017 at 19:08.
I have done LSD, cocaine, marijuana, blotter acid, Purple Haze acid, several different versions of mescaline and plenty of alcohol. The one that I missed however until today was absinthe. I feel confident that had I known about absinthe all those years ago and if it was legal I wouldn't have bothered with anything else. Cheers to the green fairy.
'Adjustments' to dripper(s)
-- By Eryl III in Washington state, USA on Thu, 6 Jul 2017 at 17:34.
Having 4 traditional absinthe glasses, & procuring REAL Absinthe (at LEAST 68% A.B.V.- 136 proof), I acquired 3 very well made stainless 'drippers' (for which a spoon is not needed, as with a fountain). 3 legs support the water 'bell' which rests over the glass with it's own sugar tray below. - However, when I started 'the ritual' - pouring the (ice) water (over 1-3 ice cube(s), the center hole in the bell was too big, thus, STREAMING thru (rather than 'dripping') - hence the name (... Hellooo...), which promptly overflowed the sugar tray, spilling into the glass without properly dissolving the sugar! (use proper French sugar 'cubes'- (1 'cube' halved in a packet.) for here, they apparently can't imagine anyone desiring only HALF a cube!) ...ANYHOOT - ONWARD thru the 'Loosh' (yankee pronuncination). - The 'drippers' needed slight 'Adjustments/Improvements'. -- First I drilled the 4 outer holes in the sugar tray SLIGHTLY bigger (leave the center one alone!), - Then I 'Jetted' the center hole in the bell (like a carburetor) with a adjustable needle screw so one can regulate the Drip. NOW 'La fee Verte' won't leeme alone. (I really should check again tho...). Aahh... PERFECT! Je vous remercie!
I'm in love with the green fairy.
-- By Tie Dye in Fort Worth, Texas on Sun, 4 Feb 2018 at 01:14.
After careful study, i purchased my bottle of correct absinthe, sugar cubes, and a spoon. By my second drink a found the fairy's wonderful buzz, quite different from other alcoholic beverages. It reminds me of smoking herb in a rose wood pipe. Of course my technique is very crude now but I am sure it will evolve. Thank you Absinthe Fever for helping me along the path.
-- By Cat Camp in Tampa, FL, USA on Mon, 4 Feb 2019 at 18:27.
Though I like the addition of sugar to absinthe, I prefer my absinthe neat; I like the flavor better than diluted. Am I REALLY missing something concrete when avoiding loucheing?
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About the absinthe ritual
Absinthe.se is one reliable website that has a short how-to guide to the classic French ritual. They resolutely condemn (and refuse to provide instructions for) the modern-day "fire method".
Instructions for both rituals -- the traditional French one and the recent fire one -- are available at DrinkNation.com.
What is absinthe?
What is the history of absinthe?
What is wormwood?
How about thujone?
What are the effects of absinthe?
How do I drink absinthe?
What is "La Louche" ritual?
What is an absinthe fountain?
The freedom-loving Green Fairy...
Goddess of rebel poets & artists
in France and beyond