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Uncle Fabio

I prefer my absinthe straight. Is that bad?

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Just tried it for the first time last night with Lucid since it's all you can find here. I started with the traditional way and once I got used to it I really liked it. I had some straight earlier for a toothache since I was out of whisky. I realized I like it a lot more that way. Not sure if it's because I'm used to bourbon and shine or what but I really just love sipping on a glass of it straight. Is there anything wrong with that?

Edited by Uncle Fabio

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Whatever floats your boat man. Although you're missing out on all the herbal goodness that adding water brings to the beverage. I see you're in Knoxville Tn. Last time I was in Downtown Wine and Spirits, on Gay St. Across from the Mast General Store, and right next door to my favorite musical instrument store, Morelock Music, they had a few bottles of Ridge Verte on the shelf. It would be more than worth your while to drop in there and see. A true craft distilled absinthe will open your eyes to a whole nother level.

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As songcatcher said, do whatever you like.

But absinthe is so strong that your tastes become numbed, and your are missing out on a lot of flavors.

 

I would walk out of a bar that offered absinthe as a 'shooter'; and it should not be offered straight to a guest who is trying it for the first time.

 

Experiment. Try different ratios of water, with and without sugar.

And do try the Ridge (now know as Vilya) but please try a few glasses first with a traditional water ration of at least 3:1. The herbal flavors really wake up, and you'll see what absinthe is all about.

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It's not bad, but it is wrong. ;)

 

Many people still think of absinthe as a hard spirit just because its bottled at that proof, and that presents a mindset where dilution = bad. There are also many who erroneously think drinking absinthe neat or at lesser dilutions makes them look badass. It really just makes them look like they don't know what they're doing.

 

If you genuinely like it that way, hell, it's your drink, do what you want. Just know that absinthe was never intended to be drunk that way and anyone who knows absinthe will think it's kind of silly. It's called "extrait d'absinthe" for a reason: it's a wormwood extract, or concentrate. It was always intended to be diluted.

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Awesome, I didn't know about that place but that street is only about 15 minutes away so I'll check it out for sure. I'm considering buying a few absinthes online also. I'm actually drinking it traditional right now. It's around the same proof as Booker's bourbon which is also meant to be distilled with water to bring out the true flavor. I prefer it straight too though. I'm not sure what it is. I'd never shoot either but sipping as I relax is really great and peaceful. I just love that numbing taste you get.

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I understand the appeal. Lately I've been drinking Lucid and Kübler while waiting for a couple bottles of Delaware Phoenix from Catskill. I like them at about 1.5 parts water to 1 part absinthe so the flavor is still pretty concentrated. It is all a matter of taste, and of course I was drinking Raki and Ouzo and Sambuca and Pastis a long time before I ever tasted Absinthe.

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Lucid isn't the most complex absinthe out there. If you compare traditional preparation to straight with a higher crafted brand you'll notice a huge difference.

 

That's not to say Lucid is bad, it's just simple.

 

As Gwydion said, it is your drink so you do your thing. Just keep in mind that absintheurs look down on this for a variety of reasons. It's not bad or evil, just incorrect. So if you like incorrect better then go for it, but do so knowing full well that it is not the way absinthe is intended to be served.

 

For me it's more about stopping the spread of misinformation than what someone does with a bottle in their private life. Drink it incorrectly all you want, just let other people know that it is incorrect so that they are free to make up their own minds as well.

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"Can I start you off with a beverage?"

"Yes, I'll have an IPA, flat and warm."

 

"And for dinner, sir?

"I'll have the filet mignon, very, very well-done."

"... and what to drink with the steak?"

 

"A glass of Chardonnay. And would you make sure that's nice and warm?"

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Generally 3 to 5 parts water per one part absinthe. Your mileage may vary.

So much of it is your personal preference coupled with the absinthe in your glass. Some absinthes can take a larger water ratio but others will quickly fall apart once you've gone too far. Some absinthes really jump out at you with a relatively low water ratio but others become much more floral and (dare I say) graceful with a larger water ratio. The absinthe itself aside, some days I want to linger over a refreshing glass of absinthe and other days, I could really use a bold drink willing to wipe away the day's challenges.

 

My approach is usually a 4-to-1 ratio, adjusting that to the absinthe and my temperament. Same with sugar: 95% of the time, I do not take sugar but depending on the absinthe and my mood, I want dessert.

 

I use to take a tiny sip neat when I was writing reviews because I thought it might reveal something about the absinthe. All it did was shock my taste buds but the sip provided no useful information.

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I like the absinthe matrix on this site. I knew by trial and error how much water I liked in different absinthes. The matrix helped me figure out that I tend to like absinthe diluted down to 16 to 19 per cent alcohol, the strength of a fortified wine. That opens up the flavor, but retains a little alcohol edge. With Kübler, it needs to be on the high end or higher, With something like Meadow of Love it can be on the low end, strength wise. But that's just me and one of the great things about absinthe. You can make it to your liking,any way you want, especially if you don't mind being considered odd.

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I haven't experienced anywhere near the number of different Absinthes compared to other users on this forum, but after several years experience with what I have been able to try (Jade 1901, Edouard, Nouvelle Orleans, VS 1898, L'Entete, Vieux Pontarlier, Lemercier 72) I've found that my preferred method in determining what dilution ratio per Absinthe brand is best is to louche the Absinthe just until the very last line of oils has disappeared, then add an extra half to one centimetre of water level, taste, and adjust if necessary, continuing to add around half to one centimetre of water level until I've reached the dilution rate I find best for my own palate/tastes.

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