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Absinthe Frappe

The Absinthe Frappe, a classic New Orleans cocktail, is timeless. However, the boozy, green, anise-flavored beverage requires a special palate. Follow our easy Absinthe Frappe recipe and see if you’re up to the taste challenge.

Absinthe Frappe from Above
Image: ©2foodtrippers

We weren’t the first to sip an Absinthe Frappe in New Orleans.

Legend has it that Robert E. Lee, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde all imbibed the refreshing potent potable in the 19th century – a time when absinthe flowed freely in New Orleans bars. While prohibition and a ban on absinthe stopped the flow for almost a century, this classic cocktail is back and it’s as refreshing and potent as ever.

Discover more of our favorite Pre-Prohibition cocktails.

What Is The Absinthe Frappe?

Absinthe Frappe with Green Background
Don’t underestimate the Absinthe Frappe. This cocktail may be green but it’s also potent. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Don’t underestimate the Absinthe Frappe.

Simple to craft and with roots in New Orleans, the pre-prohibition cocktail looks fun with its green color and preponderance of crushed ice. However, the Absinthe Frappe packs a wallop thanks to its main ingredient – absinthe.

We’re not exaggerating when we say that the Absinthe Frappe is potent. Absinthe, the drink’s primary ingredient, has an ABV that can be as high as 70%. As for its neon green color, seeing is believing.

Absinthe Frappe with Yellow Background
The Absinthe Frappe inspired Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough to write the aptly named song Absinthe Frappe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Absinthe Frappe’s potency isn’t a bad thing but we suggest moderation. After all, this classic cocktail was iconic enough in its heyday to inspire a song called Absinthe Frappe in the Broadway show It Happened in Nordland.

The lyrics in that 1904 song promise to make life worthwhile again after just one sip. While we can’t promise the same with our classic Absinthe Frappe recipe, we certainly hope that the drink takes you on a boozy ride.

History Of The Absinthe Frappe

Old Absinthe House in New Orleans
Old Absinthe House is one of the most historic bars in New Orleans. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Drinking an Absinthe Frappe at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street is like taking a trip back in time.

Cayetano Ferrer invented the green tipple in 1874 at this very space. Originally called Aleix’s Coffee House, the bar eventually changed its name to Old Absinthe House based on the popularity of the refreshing cocktail’s main ingredient. Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

Absinthe Frappe at Old Absinthe House in New Orleans
Imbibing an Absinthe Frappe at Old Absinthe Hose is a must for cocktail connoisseurs who visit New Orleans. We imbibed this neon green Absinthe Frappe during our visit at the historic watering hole. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Absinthe Frappe fell out of favor from 1912 to 2007. During these years, absinthe was banned in the United States due to fear that wormwood extract, formerly a key component of absinthe, caused madness.

Fun Fact
Although fears of absinthe causing madness have abated, the green elixir’s modern iteration has a reduced level of thujone, the active chemical in wormwood.

Banned for almost a century, absinthe isn’t as popular as vodka or rum. But those who like anise-flavored liqueurs like Pastis and Herbsaint will enjoy drinking Absinthe Frappes blended with absinthe, simple syrup, soda water, mint leaves and crushed ice.

Discover the most iconic New Orleans cocktails as well as the city’s most iconic bars. Then explore the best Mardi gras cocktails.


Absinthe Frappe Ingredients
Our Absinthe Frappe recipe just has a handful of ingredients – absinthe, sparkling water, fresh mint and ice. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Absinthe Frappe lives up to its classic cocktail status with its short and sweet ingredient list. Emulating the Absinthe House’s original recipe, our Absinthe Frappe recipe has the following ingredients:

  • Absinthe
  • Simple Syrup
  • Sparkling Water
  • Crushed Ice
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)
  • Mint Leaves (garnish)
Bottle of Absinthe
We used this French bottle of Absente 55 Absinthe to craft our Absinthe Frappe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Absinthe is the one ingredient that you may need to make a special effort to procure. However, finding absinthe at a liquor store shouldn’t be a big challenge. It’s been well over a decade since the ban on this liquor was lifted in America.

Pro Tip
Save money by making simple syrup from scratch. It’s as easy as boiling water and sugar in a 1:1 ratio until the sugar dissolves. Make sure you stir frequently so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Let the syrup cool before covering and storing in an airtight container.

Absinthe Frappe and Absinthe Bottle from Above
We were pleased with this Absinthe Frappe that we crafted with Absente 55 Absinthe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We purchased a bottle of Absente 55 Absinthe for a few reasons. First, we wanted absinthe with a green hue so that our Absinthe Frappe would be green. Second, we wanted French absinthe. And, third, the relatively low ABV of 55% appealed to us.

True Confession
Absente 55 Absinthe isn’t as green we thought it would be but we’re okay with that. Neon drinks are highly overrated. We’re more into flavor and this absinthe hit the right notes.

How To Craft An Absinthe Frappe Cocktail

Crafted Absinthe Frappe
Crafting an Absinthe Frappe is fast and easy. This one took us just five minutes from start to finish. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The first step in this recipe is to measure the absinthe and simple syrup. We use a Japanese jigger to measure both liquids to insure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Pouring Absinthe for Absinthe Frappe
Using a Japanese jigger makes measuring absinthe and other liquors fun. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Pour the two liquids into a shaker immediately after you measure each. We use a Boston shaker to craft this and other drinks. While we have other shakers, this one never leaks and is easiest to clean.

Pouring Absinthe into Shaker for Absinthe Frappe Recipe
Once you pour the absinthe and and simple syrup into a shaker, it’s time to shake things up. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The next step is to add ice and vigorously shake the absinthe and simple syrup.

After 10 to 20 seconds of vigorous shaking, strain the chilled ingredients into a lowball glass that you’ve prefilled halfway with crushed ice.

Straining Absinthe Frappe
You’ll want to fill your lowball glass halfway with crushed ice before you strain the cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Splash in some sparkling water.

Pouring Sparkling Water into Absinthe Frappe
A splash of sparkling water adds fizz to the Absinthe Frappe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Top with additional crushed ice and add a handful of mint leaves as garnish.


Crafted Absinthe Frappe with Mint Leaves
We had to kiss a lot of mint leaves to find the best ones to craft our Absinthe Frappe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Not everybody loves the anisette flavor of absinthe. Those who do will want to experiment beyond the Absinthe Frappe. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Replace the absinthe with Herbsaint or Pastis if you can’t find absinthe at your local liquor stores.
  • Craft a Corpse Reviver No. 2 with absinthe, gin, Lillet blanc, Cointreau and lemon juice if you’re in the mood for a more tart absinthe cocktail.
  • Go old school and drink absinthe from a fountain dripper. Don’t forget the sugar cube!

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Absinthe Frappe?

The Absinthe Frappe is a potent pre-prohibition potable crafted with absinthe and simple syrup.

Where was the Absinthe Frappe invented?

The Absinthe Frappe was invented in New Orleans.

What Absinthe Frappe bar is most associated with the Absinthe Frappe?

The Old Absinthe House is the bar most associated with the Absinthe Frappe cocktail. This bar is located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

What are the ingredients in an Absinthe Frappe?

Absinthe, Simple Syrup, Sparkling Water, Crushed Ice, Ice Cubes (for shaking) and Mint Leaves (garnish)

Is the Absinthe Frappe shaken or stirred?

The Absinthe Frappe is shaken, not stirred .

What type of glass is best for the Absinthe Frappe?

We like to serve this cocktail in a lowball glass and you should do the same.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Absinthe Frappe with White Background
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Absinthe Frappe Recipe

The Absinthe Frappe may be a classic New Orleans cocktail, but you can craft the refreshing potent potable at home in just five minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 207kcal


  • 2 ounces absinthe
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • crushed ice
  • ice cubes
  • 6 mint leaves (garnish)


  • Combine absinthe and simple sugar in a shaker.
  • Shake vigorously for 10 seconds with ice until the ingredients are chilled and blended.
  • Strain into a lowball or rocks glass half-filled with crushed ice.
  • Add a splash of sparkling water.
  • Top off with more crushed ice.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Pro Tips

  • You can replace the club soda or seltzer instead of sparkling water.
  • You can replace the absinthe with Pastis or Herbsaint.
  • You can use a larger glass if you want an icier beverage.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased all ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: January 26, 2022

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