If You're New To Drinking Absinthe, Order A Sazerac Cocktail

If you've never had absinthe, it may be because you've heard that it isn't exactly pleasant to drink. However, if you're still curious about giving it a try, there are ways to dip your toe in the water without downing a straight shot of it. Absinthe — which is known, visually, for its bright green color — is an overproof liquor, which is defined as any liquor that has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 50% or above. In other words, when it comes to various alcohols, absinthe is certainly one of the stronger ones. 

On top of its strength, absinthe also has a very distinct taste due to its composition of flowers, herbs, and plants — it is often made from a combination of fennel, anise, and the leaves and flowers of wormwood. The flavor of anise is especially prominent, which is typically described as tasting like licorice. So, if you like the flavor of licorice and you're not afraid of a strong liquor, then you can definitely handle absinthe.

Still, it's best to ease into drinking absinthe. One way to do this? Order a cocktail called The Sazerac. The Sazerac consists of rye whiskey, a sugar cube, and Peychaud's bitters, along with the absinthe. Thanks to the spiciness of the rye and the sweetness from the sugar, the absinthe makes up just one small component of the drink and tastes much more neutral than it would on its own. You can even add a little extra sugar to up the sweetness aspect and further balance the flavors. 

Other cocktails to get you used to absinthe

The Sazerac is a great choice for an absinthe-infused cocktail, but there are also other options. For example, Tasting Table has a recipe for an absinthe margarita, which takes the classic cocktail to a new level thanks to the uniqueness of absinthe. If you already like margaritas, then this will be a great way for you to get used to absinthe since it's working alongside the taste of the tequila and the other elements of the margarita.

There's also our smoky French 75 winter cocktail, which uses tequila instead of gin for a twist on the classic French 75. This drink also has quite a few other alcohols in the mix — vermouth, Armagnac brandy, orange liqueur, and Champagne — so not all of the focus will be on the absinthe. The recipe calls for just a splash of absinthe, but you can always add a little bit more to make the flavor a little more prominent. 

You still want to be able to taste it so that you can eventually move on to more intense absinthe cocktails. When you are ready for a more absinthe-forward drink, you'll be happy to learn that it pairs well with a number of mixers, such as ginger ale or lemonade. All you have to do is pair absinthe with one of these drinks for an easy cocktail.