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1. Fill the reservoir of the glass with absinthe (or about 1/3 to 1/5 absinthe of the volume).

2. Place an absinthe spoon and a sugar cube on top of the glass.

3. Slowly drip ice water through the sugar until it dissolves completely.

4. The drink louches (turns white) and new flavours come out.

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Traditionally, absinthe is poured into a glass over which a specially designed slotted spoon is placed. A sugar cube is then deposited in the bowl of the spoon. Ice-cold water is poured or dripped over the sugar until the drink is diluted 3:1 to 5:1. During this process, the components that are not soluble in water come out of solution and cloud the drink; that milky opalescence is called the louche (Fr. “opaque” or “shady”, pronounced “loosh”). The addition of water is important, causing the herbs to “blossom” and bringing out many of the flavors originally overpowered by the anise. For most people, a good quality absinthe should not require sugar, but it is added according to taste and will also thicken the mouth-feel of the drink.

With increased popularity the absinthe fountain, a large jar of ice water on a base with spigots, came into use. It allowed a number of drinks to be prepared at once, and with a hands-free drip patrons were able to socialize while louching a glass.

Although many bars served absinthe in standard glasses, there are a number of glasses specifically made for absinthe, having a dose line, bulge or bubble in the lower portion of the glass marking how much absinthe should be poured into it (often around 1 oz).
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