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Absinthe and Women


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#1 Miriam

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:06 AM

Hi there,

Like I said in my introduction (read here if you wish) I'm quite new to the world of absinthe. So please forgive me, if I mention things that would be completely obvious to most of you (on this thread and any others I will comment on in the near future)

You learn pretty quickly, that the majority of absinthe fans and lovers are men - there are women, of course, but the numbers are much lower when comparing them to the numbers of male absinthe lovers.

I can only think of a couple of reasons for this...

- Women tend to be rather careful about what alcohol they drink, and they're much more worried about losing control. Therefore, they don't trust spirits with an high level of alcohol.

- Most women prefer sweet drinks

I think it's sad, not because I personally like absinthe, but because I think the absinthe community is such a wonderful thing, which would be even more colourful if more women got involved (sorry, guys ;) ). I wouldn't know how to make absinthe more attractive for females though. Maybe through delivering the lifestyle rather than banging on about historic recipes and the amount of certain herbs included?

Can you think of more reasons why absinthe is not as popular amongst women, and have you got any ideas about how one could approach this matter?

Maybe the girls here could share how and why they became an absintheur - for me, this has to do with my internship, but I'm convinced there are some of you who simply love absinthe?

What do the guys think?


Let's brainstorm!


Oh, and apologies, if there was a similar thread somewhere I didn't see.

#2 RadarGreg

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:26 AM

How to make absinthe more attractive to women? Serve it sitting on a credit card. :laf:
I like my absinthe like my women; bitter and intoxicating.

#3 Miriam

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:30 AM

HAHA!

...is this some personal experience you had there, Greg?

Edited by Miriam, 10 August 2012 - 05:45 AM.


#4 Ron

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:58 AM

I have zero facts to support this, but I would guess the ratio of men to women who partake in spirits in general is probably the same across the range of each class of spirit. For example, there are more men than women who drink whisky. There are women who love a good Scotch as well, just as in the absinthe community. Hell, they are probably the same women, for that matter.

The ratio may even skew higher toward women and absinthe than other spirits. It is sweeter, and consumed at approximately the same alcohol by volume as wine, it's social, and most people don't seem to suffer much of a hangover in the case of overdoing it.

And I don't mean to generalise with the above, just agreeing with you.
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#5 crow

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:02 AM

How to make absinthe more attractive to women? Serve it sitting on a credit card. :laf:


not funny :thumbdown:
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#6 Ambear

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:09 AM

Women tend to be rather careful about what alcohol they drink, and they're much more worried about losing control. Therefore, they don't trust spirits with an high level of alcohol.


Absinthe shouldn't be any different than drinking a glass of wine, and I know plenty of women who have no problem splitting a bottle or two of wine with a friend. Maybe it's because of the college culture in the cities surrounding this area, but the women here don't cautiously drink ANYTHING.

Most women prefer sweet drinks


I guess I'm just lucky that the 10 or so women I interact with the most are all whiskey drinkers, but absinthe is (to me) incredibly sweet to start, without using any sugar, and it only gets sweeter from there.

Maybe the girls here could share how and why they became an absintheur - for me, this has to do with my internship, but I'm convinced there are some of you who simply love absinthe?


My interest started because I was interested in "historic recipes and the amount of certain herbs included". Honestly though...my interest started WELL before having tasted any alcohol or even being able to legally drink because I had heard of absinthe and was curious about what it was, what it did, and what the hell the neon stuff that's on the market now. I heard the rumors and was interested in getting to the bottom of what was going on. This was at least 5 years before it was available to purchase in the US.

Granted, when I finally did get to try absinthe, I was thrilled that I actually liked it, but I don't think my interest in the subject would have changed if I didn't care for the flavor.

How to make absinthe more attractive to women? Serve it sitting on a credit card. :laf:


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#7 Miriam

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

My interest started because I was interested in "historic recipes and the amount of certain herbs included". Honestly though...my interest started WELL before having tasted any alcohol or even being able to legally drink because I had heard of absinthe and was curious about what it was, what it did, and what the hell the neon stuff that's on the market now. I heard the rumors and was interested in getting to the bottom of what was going on. This was at least 5 years before it was available to purchase in the US.


Thanks for sharing, Ambear, it's quite interesting to hear someone's story of how they got to know absinthe. I like that you were that interested in this topic. And luckily, you even enjoyed drinking it when you finally got to!

#8 Miriam

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:33 AM

The ratio may even skew higher toward women and absinthe than other spirits. It is sweeter, and consumed at approximately the same alcohol by volume as wine, it's social, and most people don't seem to suffer much of a hangover in the case of overdoing it.

I'd guess that there are much more women into other highly alcoholic spirits, say for example scotch, than absinthe. Still not a lot though, you're right.

I'd like to know why this is! Maybe it has to do with the strong taste of alcohol all these spirits bring with them, maybe females just don't enjoy this taste (I for example hate drinking spirits, where you can nearly taste just the alcohol).

#9 Alan Moss

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:34 AM

I've generally found that women are or can be receptive to the idea of absinthe, and in my case I am able to use parts of our history to make it even more appealing.

I mention that women have played an important part in the development of absinthe over the last 215 years from the role of the Henriods (mother and daughters), to the female Swiss moonshiners (including Charlotte Vaucher) who kept absinthe alive during the period of the ban, and even today where Karine Bugnon is VERY much involved in the creation of La Clandestine (of course America also has a few important women involved in absinthe today).

Women seem to find it interesting that other women have been so involved in the creation of absinthe, and maybe it's because they can really appreciate the aromas and flavours of the plants. Similar with perfumes, I guess. Shameless plug about absinthe and women here.

As mentioned already, emphasise the fact that a louched absinthe will be no stronger than a glass of wine. And an absinthe cocktail can be even more appealing (especially DITA's).
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#10 OMG_Bill

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:04 AM

I know a lot of women that absolutely despise licorice. There is no licorice in absinthe but the anise and fennel have a similar taste. Here in America, Anise isn't as popular as it may be in Europe.

There have been a few that have enjoyed the drink but it needed watering and sugar to keep the alcohol heat down and increase the sweetness.

They are unsure about it because of the history. Bless their hearts.

They don't seem to want to lose control. All the things you mentioned.

The women that do enjoy the drink are a fun bunch that don't mind exploring.

I've introduced several women to the drink. They only drink it when they are in the mood.

My wife prefers Pepsi. She will drink an occasional cocktail but I'm not a mixologist.

So, I can't answer your question. I will, however, ask the women that do drink absinthe the question...why?

Nice thread and certainly ought to be a fun read.

Thanks Miriam, :wave2:
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#11 Miriam

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:25 AM

Thanks for the info Alan, there are certainly some benefits to your brands' history for targeting women! I did actually ask rather out of interest, than developing a revolutionary sales strategy. But I enjoyed reading what you've written on your blog!

Bill, thanks for your answer, too, very interesting! I'd love to hear back from what the women you know have said. But you are definetly right, I suppose there are two types of women: The ones that generally despise spirits and strong tasting alcoholic drinks (they are also the ones that don't want to lose control) and then there are the ones that like to explore, discover and taste, those are aware of what the alcohol can do to them, but they're not afraid.

#12 Artemis

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:36 AM

How to make absinthe more attractive to women? Serve it sitting on a credit card. :laf:

Facebook coaster?

#13 Jack Griffin

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:36 AM

Posted Image

Translation: The petite working-class girl of the Latin Quarter, who does not disdain to dip her pink lips into the deceptive green liquor.

Unlike the lovely gal in this postcard, my lovely wife can't stand absinthe for just the reason Bill mentions. Oh well, more for me I suppose!

Edited by Scott M., 10 August 2012 - 10:38 AM.


#14 Jay

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:47 AM

(snip)
There have been a few that have enjoyed the drink but it needed watering and sugar to keep the alcohol heat down and increase the sweetness. (snip)

This is the most relevant to my own girlfriend's interest in absinthe. She prefers blanches and sweeter/lighter vertes, and she takes a healthy dose of sugar or agave; the fact that she likes absinthe at all (as well as rum and some whiskeys) makes me quite fortunate, as I need her to justify my expenditures! :thumbup:

#15 Ambear

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:14 AM

My wife prefers Pepsi. She will drink an occasional cocktail but I'm not a mixologist.


And Capri Sun. :twitchsmile:
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#16 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:43 AM

Great idea for a topic, Miriam; thanks!

Although I'm inclined to accept it, I'm not quite convinced that there are more male absinthe drinkers than female. Statistics are funny. The somewhat more male audience here (around 75%) could be attributed to the probability that more men will be inclined to frequent an online discussion forum on the topic, but we have plenty of active women here as well.

The conventional wisdom is that "women don't like licorice", but I did a tasting last night at the Women's University Club here in Seattle, where the average age was in the mid-60s. While there were a few wrinkled noses, I was surprised at how many women there loved licorice and loved absinthe once they tasted it properly served (note: I always lightly sweeten when doing tastings).

One woman in particular was a licorice-hater, but I got the sense that she was merely averse to the taste of cheap, black licorice candies, which is worlds away from the complexity of quality absinthe. Since the anise was the only familiar flavor in the absinthe, that's what she focused on.

I got an idea. "Would you like to try it un-sweetened? It's much less candy-like." She loved it. "Oh my; that's completely different! That's lovely!" She came back for seconds and thirds.

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#17 Ambear

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

One woman in particular was a licorice-hater, but I got the sense that she was merely averse to the taste of cheap, black licorice candies, which is worlds away from the complexity of quality absinthe. Since the anise was the only familiar flavor in the absinthe, that's what she focused on.

I got an idea. "Would you like to try it un-sweetened? It's much less candy-like." She loved it. "Oh my; that's completely different! That's lovely!" She came back for seconds and thirds.


:wave2:

Although when I drink absinthe while others are around, I've had experience with a few different women trying to sniff out where the Good & Plenty are. :laugh:
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#18 Bluewolf Pete

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:27 PM

The primary symbol for absinthe, the Green Fairy, is always shown as being female. Would having a male fairy help with any romantic notions?
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#19 Ambear

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

Seems like that might draw men as well. :laugh:
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#20 TheLoucheyMonster!

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:39 PM

Image is very important, as to what people might be thinking before they try absinthe.

As a test, just put in one word in google, and "search by image".
Here is what you get, compare:
Whiskey

Vodka

ABSINTHE

So, that gives an idea of the prevailing image that absinthe has at the moment.

Edited by TheLoucheyMonster!, 10 August 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#21 Artemis

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:55 PM

The primary symbol for absinthe, the Green Fairy, is always shown as being female. Would having a male fairy help with any romantic notions?

Excellent.

#22 Songcatcher

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:24 PM

So, that give one an idea of the prevailing image that absinthe has at the moment.

And that's just saddening.

The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#23 jcbphd

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:40 PM

My name is Judy, I'm a woman (at least that's what my doctor told me), and I like absinthe. If asked why I like it, my first response might be, "Why not?" Beyond that, I find it tasty, engaging, a great conversation topic, something I can collect and immerse myself in. I'm sure I could go on and on, but I'm just one woman and you've asked why "women" in general like it or don't.

I've studied sex and gender a bit (this is probably an understatement), and I have some thoughts on women and absinthe. Before I jump into this, I'll say that I'm not citing particular studies/specific research, but giving you my personal opinion (which may or may not be worth much).

My guess is that more men than women drink alcohol period. I'd also guess that men tend to drink more hard alcohol, in general, than women. Another assumption is that men tend to be more open to and have more opportunities (maybe due to being in the company of other men?) to try more unusual/adventurous experiences/drinks. Given these assumptions, I could see more men seeking out and therefore being exposed to absinthe to begin with. If fewer women than men drink absinthe, and given what the majority of people (who are misinformed) think of absinthe (it is vile, drug-like, and intended to get you f-ed up), this may very well be the case, then fewer women will like absinthe, or at least fewer women will know that they like absinthe.

I will point out that I believe all of the above are due to social roles, opportunities/limitations conferred by roles and expectations (both internal and external), and not due to biological or inherent differences between men and women. I think if given equal opportunity, permission to enjoy, and exposure without fear/judgment, there wouldn't be much difference between the percentages of men and women who enjoy and appreciate absinthe.
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#24 crow

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:55 PM

I don't like black licorice at all and I love absinthe. I personally think the tastes are completely different.

Also, while it may be that men tend to prefer stronger booze, I don't consider absinthe to be strong... not when served properly. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of friends who drink absinthe, but of those that do, most are women, not men. This is probably due to the fact that I introduced the drink to them, my friends, by inviting couples over to my house. Equal numbers of men and women. The guys like it okay but a few of my female friends really love it and have come back for more.

I'm not sure why it seems more men drink absinthe than women, except that I think more men drink anything and everything than women.

How did I get into drinking absinthe? I love history and had heard of it but knew almost nothing about it except its dubious reputation. Last year I attended a play in NYC that was in a place designed as a 1930s hotel and nightclub. They were serving absinthe punch, and in the spirit of the evening I decided to try it, not expecting to like it at all. I loved it! I was hooked. I went home and began to educate myself... and here I am! :cheers:
"Vivir con miedo, es como vivir a medias!" ("A life lived in fear is a life half lived.") --Frangipani della Squeegeemop

#25 RadarGreg

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:33 PM

I've had my wife and a female friend both try absinthe (no financial promises were made for trying it), and neither one cared for it. I had prepared the drink with sugar and 3 to 4 parts water. I think it was the bitterness of the drink that turned them off. Both my wife and friend do enjoy wine and some mixed drinks like Mojitos or even a shot of Ouzo at our favorite Greek restaurant. So, it isn't the anise flavor that is a turn off for them, and I'm guessing it is the wormwood. I've read that wormwood is second only to Rue in bitterness, so perhaps that is the reason it isn't as well received by some people. I guess you could generalize that women are less inclined to drink absinthe than men. I haven't spent a great deal of my life in bars, but in the times I have been to them, I have observed more men drinking hard liquor or doing shots then women. The women, again my personal observations, tended more towards mixed drinks or cocktails or wine.

Perhaps the best way to introduce absinthe to women would be through a mixed drink or cocktail, let them experience the unique taste and then explore absinthe more on its own. I think the same is true of men as well. Ask most guys about whiskey, and they may order a, "Jack and Coke". Later, if they like whiskey, they may move on to a single barrel malt. I think most people ease into things, and if they like it, explore it further.
I like my absinthe like my women; bitter and intoxicating.

#26 thegreenimp

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:45 AM

How to make it more attractive?

Offer a pair of Manolo Blahnik's with each bottle of absinthe.
At the close of the day drink an Herbsaint Frappé,...Legendre Herbsaint, always served when absinthe is called for.
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#27 crow

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 05:06 AM

Holy crap, what kind of women do you guys know?
"Vivir con miedo, es como vivir a medias!" ("A life lived in fear is a life half lived.") --Frangipani della Squeegeemop

#28 Absomphe

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 05:11 AM

I don't like black licorice at all and I love absinthe. I personally think the tastes are completely different.


Ditto.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#29 thegreenimp

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:15 AM

Holy crap, what kind of women do you guys know?


From my personal experience I've gotten a better response to Vintage Herbsaint, and Herbsaint Original, among women, over most brands of commercial absinthe.

I use the Manolo Blahnik's to bait the leg traps around the house.
At the close of the day drink an Herbsaint Frappé,...Legendre Herbsaint, always served when absinthe is called for.
The History of Legendre Herbsaint

#30 Ambear

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:15 AM

How to make it more attractive?

Offer a pair of Manolo Blahnik's with each bottle of absinthe.


Thank you for making this joke funny without resorting to "hurr hurr...credit cards". :thumbup:
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