Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90-148 proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (a.k.a. “grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not traditionally bottled with added sugar, and is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.

Dick's Absinthe (Distilled)
Recipe type: Liqueurs
Serves: 1 bottle
  • Step 1
  • 30 g wormwood
  • 8.5 g hyssop
  • 1.8 g calamus
  • 6.0 g melissa
  • 30 g anise
  • 25 g fennel seed
  • 10 g star anise
  • 3.2 g coriander
  • Step 2
  • 4.2 g mint
  • 1.1 g melissa
  • 3.0 g wormwood
  • 1.0 g citron peel
  • 4.2 g liquorice root
  1. Step 1: Put the dry herbs in a large jar. Dampen slightly. Add 800 milliliters of 85-95 percent alcohol. Wine spirits make a better product than pure grain alcohol. Let steep for several days - a week is better - shaking occasionally. Then add 600 milliliters of water and let the whole macerate for another day. Decant off the liquid squeezing as much from the mass of herb as possible. Wet the herbs with some vodka and squeeze again.
  2. Recipe should give a little over a liter and a half of green liquor. It must then be distilled.
  3. Color the distillate by again adding:
  4. Step 2: Let the herbs macerate for another three or four days. Decant, filter, bottle. Concentrated sugar syrup can be added.
From "Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts & Processes", 19th century, as transcribed by Dale Pendell in "Pharmako/Poeia".

From “Dick’s Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts & Processes”, 19th century, as transcribed by Dale Pendell in “Pharmako/Poeia”.
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