The Perfect Serve 1
Serving absinthe is something of a ritual which involves pouring water over lumps of sugar sitting on special slotted spoons. This ritual arose because absinthe is bottled unsweetened, and many imbibers in the 19th century were accustomed to the sweetened liqueurs that were popular at the time. The high percentage of alcohol in absinthe stopped the sugar from properly dissolving, so spoons were used to suspend a lump of sugar over the glass which dissolved when cold water was poured during its preparation at the table.
The Perfect Serve 2
Today, many absintheurs prefer their absinthe without sugar and an alternative way of preparing the drink is to use a glass dripper which can be filled with ice and water. Once the dripper and ice are in place over the glass of absinthe, water is added into the dripper so that it slowly streams into the waiting absinthe. As the water enters into the absinthe it will turn cloudy from the bottom up, as the water coaxes the flavourful herbal aromas from the absinthe. This is known as the 'louche'
The Perfect Serve 3
The cloudy layer slowly moves up the glass and once the clear layer has disappeared, usually after adding between three to five measures of water, the absinthe is ready to taste. Additional water can be added to personal preference.
You can now close your eyes and imagine sipping absinthe, sitting in Parisian cafe during the Belle Epoque!