Absinthe is a potent liquor, but if you enjoy the flavor of anise, it can be used successfully as a base spirit!
My Fairy Godmother recipe combines the “green fairy” with elderflower, pineapple, lemon, and lime for a unique, tropically-inspired absinthe cocktail.
Does absinthe cause bad trips?
Nope. Absinthe was outlawed in the United States for nearly 100 years, but claims of absinthe-induced hallucinations were more likely due to plain ol’ over consumption of alcohol.
Keep in mind that absinthe is a very alcoholic spirit at 50-75% ABV, which is why this recipe uses just 1 ounce of the stuff.
It can potentially be twice as strong as your average bottle of gin, vodka, or whiskey!
A key ingredient in absinthe (wormwood) does contain small amounts of thujone. And apparently thujone, when consumed in large enough quantities, has some hallucinogenic effects.
Large doses are also toxic though, so don’t get any ideas!
Absinthe made and sold today is perfectly legal and perfectly safe – just as long as you’re aware of its potency and drink it responsibly.
Why are there not many absinthe-forward cocktails?
Because of its very strong flavor, most cocktails just call for a dash or a mist of absinthe. If you want to start with one of those wonderfully subtle classic absinthe cocktails, try a Corpse Reviver No 2, a Sazerac, a Remember the Maine, or a Quill (absinthe-rinsed Negroni).
Absinthe and pineapple: the perfect pair
The strong anise flavor of most absinthes pairs perfectly with the intensely sweet and sour pineapple. Pineapple also helps to tame that aggressive licorice-like flavor.
Freshly pressed pineapple juice is my very favorite thing to mix with absinthe, and one of the few flavors that can hold its own next to such a domineering spirit.
Anise also pairs really well with citrus fruits, so I’ve used half lemon juice and half lime juice to liven up this cocktail. For sweetness and to soften the rough herbal edges, I’ve added elderflower liqueur.
My choice liqueur here is Fiorente Elderflower Liqueur. It’s not quite as sweet as other brands and it’s also made with lemon peels and mint which round out the floral flavor nicely.
- Elderflower liqueur
Use fresh juices
For the best flavor, you want freshly pressed pineapple juice.
But if you don’t have an electric juicer or don’t want to make a mess squeezing pineapple chunks, you can use a bottled or canned juice in this recipe. Just be sure that it’s unsweetened!
Using freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices is non-negotiable, it really makes all the difference in a quality cocktail.
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I highly recommend picking up an elbow-style citrus squeezer like this one. It makes quick work of juicing lemons or limes and it doesn’t make a mess like squeezing by hand.
I like to cut fresh pineapple into large chunks and press them with one of these squeezers to quickly press three quarters of an ounce of juice. If you have a fresh pineapple on hand, it just takes a minute to press your own juice and it’s well worth the flavor.
How to make the Fairy Godmother:
Once you have your ingredients assembled, measure each with a jigger (this is my favorite one) and add them to a cocktail shaker.
Fill the shaker about three-quarters with ice, shake until thoroughly chilled, then strain the cocktail into a coupe glass or over a large cube in a rocks glass.
Garnish with a lime twist or an edible orchid, if desired. Learn all about edible flowers in my guide to edible flowers!
Want more absinthe cocktail inspiration? Start with 6 Absinthe Cocktails You Need to Try
You might also enjoy my Garden Fairy (made with cucumber and aquavit), or a classic like the Absinthe Frappé.
Fairy Godmother Absinthe Cocktail
- 1 oz absinthe (I used Oregon Spirit Distillers)
- 3/4 oz elderflower liqueur (I used Fiorente)
- 3/4 oz pineapple juice (use fresh or unsweetened if bottled/canned)
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill 3/4 with ice.
- Shake until chilled, about 12 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe glass over a large chunk of ice (optional). Garnish with a petite edible orchid or a lime twist.
Sunday 23rd of May 2021
Hiya, was just wonering what glass was used for the fairy godmother cocktail?
Friday 28th of May 2021
I got this vintage glass from https://www.etsy.com/shop/Antiquevintagefind
Saturday 24th of April 2021
Just wanted to say that as a cocktail nerd this is one of my favorite cocktails and one I go back to repeatedly. I think the whole clean, refreshing absinthe-based cocktail is a woefully underrepresented drink and this nails it.
Sunday 25th of April 2021
So glad you’ve enjoyed it Nathan!
Sunday 11th of April 2021
So you’re using the Absinthe straight-up instead of making a proper glass that releases the full flavor and bouquet of the Absinthe first?
I’d be curious to know much pouring a glass that uses the proper technique with Absinthe before mixing the rest of the cocktail would change the profile of the Drink.
Sunday 11th of April 2021
Hi Chris! What you’re referring to is called an Absinthe Drip, which is a traditional absinthe cocktail using a sugar cube and water. I don’t recommend diluting or sweetening your absinthe prior to mixing this cocktail recipe. If you like more dilution though, try an Absinthe Frappé!