We know it’s not likely you’re going to sit down with a hefty glass of absinthe to sip straight. For one, the spirit is typically ripe with licorice flavors, which can easily be overwhelming on their own. On top of that, most absinthes are bottled at a whopping 130 proof or more, which makes them a lot harder to take down with a straight face than a glass of whiskey. But, if you had to drink an absinthe straight, you would want it to be good one. Here, we find the best absinthes to drink, regardless of whether you want to sip them straight or prefer to mix them in a Frappe.
Pernod’s Absinthe Superieure was one of the most popular absinthe brands in France prior to the 1915 ban. This bottling is a modern recreation of the original recipe from the 1800s. Made from a brandy base, this absinthe uses grand wormwood from Pontarlier, France—the original home to the Pernod distillery—and nettles, which naturally turn the spirit a vivacious green hue. Slightly vegetal on the palate, the spirit has a ethereal silkiness and notes of anise, lemon zest and black licorice. This is one of the highest quality commercial absinthes you can buy, and thankfully it’s widely available.