The Washington Post

Absinthe Frappe

Absinthe Frappe 1.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Spirits Jul 22, 2015

There’s something about absinthe — its smack of green anise-y herbs — that wants to be cold, and this classic cocktail meets its wants (and yours, in midsummer). The Old Absinthe House in New Orleans claims that its bartender Cayetano Ferrer invented the drink in 1874; he certainly became known for making good ones.

The frappe was a popular morning drink from the late 1800s until absinthe was banned in 1912 in the United States, a harbinger of the full Prohibition to come.

You can either shake this, as described here, or drop these ingredients in a blender for a slushie (see the VARIATION, below) that would make Oscar Wilde proud.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

  • Ice, crushed and cubes
  • 8 to 10 mint leaves, for muddling, plus a spring of mint for garnish
  • 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE)
  • 2 ounces club soda


Fill a highball glass with crushed ice.

Muddle the mint leaves gently at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the absinthe and the simple syrup (to taste), then fill with ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds, then strain into the glass.

Top with club soda; stir gently to combine. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

VARIATION: For a smoother, mintier version, combine the absinthe, simple syrup and mint in a blender, then add 1 1/2 cups of ice; puree until smooth. Pour into a highball glass, top with the club soda, stir gently and garnish with a sprig of mint.

NOTE: To make the 2:1 simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a heatproof container and let it cool to room temperature before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from traditional recipes.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 170

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 15mg 1%

Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 21g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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