The 10 Best Absinthe Brands to Try in 2021
Absinthe is rapidly growing in popularity again after the US ban on the hallucinatory” spirit was lifted in 2007. Since then, beloved old brands and emerging new entrants have created a brilliant range of the bright diamond green liquid to rival the golden era during the French Belle Epoque.
If you’re looking for ways to enjoy drinking absinthe make sure you read our Beginners Guide to the Green Fairy.
The simplest traditional serving of absinthe consists of slowly diluting the spirit by way of an absinthe fountain or carafe with three to five parts ice water and a sugar cube through a perforated absinthe spoon.
Check out the 10 Best Absinthe Brands to try below. You’ll find a few of these will rapidly become favorites as you apply absinthe to cocktails and mixers, or if brave, slam down as a pre-party shot!
1. Emile Pernot Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Francais Superieure
Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Francaise Superieure is one of the world’s most highly decorated spirits and perhaps the most unlikely “grain to glass” spirit expression that you’ll find.
It’s vintage absinthe crafted in the French city of Pontarlier using the distillery’s original recipe, with no artificial colors or sweeteners added.
The absinthe is made from locally-grown Artemisia Absinthium (a type of grand wormwood), green anise seed, provençal fennel seed, and a secret blend of other aromatic botanicals.
Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Francaise Superieure has a medium green color, the bright aroma of anise, and the flavor profile of alpine spice, light wormwood, and mint. The finish touches on layered anise and fennel along with more delicate herb flourishes.
Unless you’re able to claim the Czech style green fairy strong absinthe bottles (with a high thujone content that can’t be sold in the US) this is the best traditional absinthe for taste, price, and cultural cachet.
2. La Fee Absinthe Blanche
La Fee Absinthe Blanche Superieure was first distilled in 2011 in association with the Musee de l’Absinthe and its co-founder; recipe maker and curator Marie-Claude Delahaye.
Absinthe Blanche means this La Fee (there’s also a more traditional variation) lacks the traditional green color – it’s a clear absinthe. It’s both sweetened and slightly lower in alcohol content, having been described by the distillery at release as a more “feminine absinthe.”
It’s a dry, zesty take on traditional absinthe, with a less bitter profile from the sugar addition and around 10% less ABV than other absinthe but still packs a punch at 106 proof. It’s a great addition to a Sazerac cocktail and also popular when consumed with mineral water or via the absinthe drip.
La Fee is distilled in copper stills and contains 11 different herbs and spices, including Artemisia absinthium (grand wormwood) and Artemisia pontica (petite wormwood).
3. Pernod Absinthe
Pernod Fils was the most popular absinthe brand throughout the 19th century until it was banned in the US in 1915 due to the thujone content that was believed to cause hallucinations (and debauchery of all kinds).
The United States ban wasn’t lifted until 2007 – drinkers had to make do with Pernod Pastis, a simpler aniseed liqueur – when science proved small amounts of the thujone compound meant little in the way of hallucinations.
Pernod Absinthe still follows the original recipe and processes of Henri-Louis Pernod by using a secret bunch of herb botanicals to achieve its all-natural, vibrant green color and enjoyable taste.
Pernod Absinthe is sweeter and less complex than other expressions, containing more of a straightforward candy/licorice note, followed by a palate of star anise, vanilla, and hyssop.
The finish is slightly spicy with a hint of wormwood and is more gentle on the tongue than other varieties of the controversial alcoholic drink.
4. Two James Nain Rouge Absinthe Verte
Two James is the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition and is located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood.
Nain Rouge Absinthe Verte distills wormwood, fennel, green anise, and over 100 pounds of botanicals to create a modern expression from a traditional 19th-century vintage absinthe recipe.
The aroma of Nain Rouge Absinthe Verte is subtly vegetal with tones of peppermint and flowers, balanced by the telltale flavor of anise and wormwood.
Nain Rouge Absinthe Verte is colored with peppermint, hyssop, and nettle to produce a beautiful rich earthy green color. If you’re looking to dazzle guests with an interesting, old-school-style American absinthe brand, this is a great bottle to choose.
5. Absinthe Mansinthe
This one you may have heard of, given that it’s owned by shock rocker Marilyn Manson, who has been a long time fan of real absinthe, carrying a glass of it around with him everywhere when he first hit the big time.
This Absinthe is carefully distilled at Matter Luginbühl AG Distillery in Switzerland. It’s made with grand and pontica wormwood blended with pontica blended with fennel, anise, hyssop, and melissa. The wormwood and anise are dominant flavors, and at 144 proof Absinthe Mansinthe, it’s about as strong as a liqueur spirit can get.
Mansinthe is earthy and vegetal on the nose and palate, with sharp spice and accents of alpine herbs balanced against the heat and bitterness of the traditionally strong alcoholic drink.
A balance between wormwood and anise with some spicy heat going on. Some alpine herbs and earthy aromas are also felt in a buttery palate.
6. Lucid Absinthe Superieure
Lucid Absinthe Superieure was the first authentic absinthe (made with grand wormwood) to be legally available in the United States after the ban was lifted and remains a popular version of the drink.
Lucid is distilled following traditional French methods in the historic Combier Absinthe Distillery.
The aromas are faint but well balanced between flowers, herbs, and spices. There’s heat on the palate along with the distinctive combination of wormwood, fennel, and green anise. The finish is gentle for absinthe.
If you’re a nervous novice in the initial stages of getting to know real absinthe then this bottle would be one I heartily recommend. You can always get into the wilder stuff the more practiced you become with the traditional absinthe fountain, louch, or cocktail.
7. Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte
Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte starts with a grape spirit (surprisingly Pisco, a type of brandy from Chile) and grand wormwood. Fennel, anise, and other botanicals are also added to the small-batch still to make a more complex, interesting spirit. Coloring herbs such as lemon balm and hyssop are steeped in the mix to give the green absinthe its signature color a blast of brightness.
The result is a brilliant emerald green spirit that’s the perfect touch for a classic Absinthe cocktail such as the Ernest Hemingway, Sazerac, or even the Corpse Reviver No. II.
8. A Junod Absinthe
Another creation from the Emile Pernot absinthe distillery, this absinthe Blanche expression is named after Auguste Junod, a famous distiller and pioneer aviator of the Belle Epoque (the decadent period in Paris from 1880-1914, when WWI commenced).
This clear absinthe gets its refreshing flavor from a profile of eight botanicals distilled in copper alembics specially designed and built for absinthe production.
They are the only stills of their kind in operation anywhere in the world and allow the company to produce absinthe of exceptional quality.
The absinthe tradition was popular among Parisian writers and artists. For the simplified version, serve 3 measures of chilled water (sin gas) dripped from an absinthe fountain over one sugar cube on a slotted absinthe spoon into 1 measure of Junod in the bottom of your absinthe glass. Perfection.
9. St George Absinthe Verte
Another traditional absinthe from a brandy base, St George is infused with wormwood, fennel, star anise, tarragon, and stinging nettles (I’m not sure why the stinging nettles are in there, but there’s a first for everything).
Similar to the previously mentioned Lucid Absinthe, this version of the drink is more nuanced. Rather than going heavy on the licorice and aniseed flavor, St George Absinthe Verte aims to showcase lesser lights such as lemon balm, hyssop, mint, opal basil, and tarragon amongst others.
This is one of the best absinthe all-rounders, interesting enough for the absinthe connoisseur to enjoy, but also balanced enough to appeal to newcomers to the spirit.
10. Kubler Absinthe Original (1l)
Kubler Absinthe has been in continuous distillation by the same family since its origin in 1863, in the birthplace of Absinthe, Val-de-Travers, Switzerland.
Its wormwood is sourced specifically from the unique terroir of the region and utilizes sage, mint, coriander, and a hint of white pepper alongside fennel and star anise.
An almost can’t miss old-school absinthe bottle, Kubler’s Original comes in either a 375ml bottle or the highly enjoyable 1-liter expression that represents good value.
Absinthe is made using Artemisia absinthium, which is commonly referred to as wormwood. In wormwood, there is a compound called thujone, which is the ingredient that is supposed to send you crazy if you imbibe enough of it.
The much-hyped hallucinatory effects of thujone prompted absinthe’s prohibition until 2007 in the United States, but science has proven it does not cause hallucinations. The drunkenness caused by such a strong spirit (and copious amounts of sugar) can create these types of effects.
During the Belle Epoque era (1880-1914) French wine culture was threatened by the pest known as phylloxera, which decimated vines and fruit.
Without wine, many French drinkers turned to the mysterious and scandalous liqueur known as absinthe, which was alleged to create hallucinations. It also involved a cool ritual that was popular with artists, writers, and musicians.
While it lost some popularity as the wine industry recovered, absinthe maintained a strong presence right up until it was banned in the United States in 1915.
Pour an ounce of absinthe into a mixing glass loaded with crushed ice, making sure the ice level is above the absinthe. Place a sugar cube on top then (very) slowly drip soda ice water over the mixing glass until the sugar is dissolved. Stir together, then strain into a cocktail glass or highball.
The Best 14 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Aaron Brown Leather Bomber
The Aaron Brown Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for that traditional bomber look. This awesome jacket features a slim cut and ribbed cuffs and waist. It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, goatskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Aaron is that it shirks the classic pouch pockets on the lower half of the jacket, opting for two buttoned patch pockets on the chest instead. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most bombers, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Lavendard Brown Leather Bike Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
7. Airin G-1 Black and White Leather Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. The Jacket Maker’s Airin G-1 Bomber will have ready to strap into the cockpit, ready to fly over Europe on a midnight air-raid. It has a thick polyester-lined collar as well as ribbed cuffs and waist for a nice, snug fit that keeps the wind at bay.
The Airin is made with real sheepskin, so it’s soft but super durable, making it a great choice for almost any type of casual wear. The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
8. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
9. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
10. Dean Black Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest.. A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
11. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
12. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
13. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
14. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.