Absinthe has long been considered the spirit of choice among tortured artists, earning it its unbeatably spooky-green reputation. Although absinthe can reach up to 140 proof, with enough water and patience, drinking this potent, licorice-flavored spirit can be transformed into an extraordinary experience.

Are You New to Absinthe or Ready for Something New? Check Out These Nine Drinks Now

1. Green Fairy

Absinthe was at its height of popularity during France’s 19th-century Golden Age of Art when it inspired artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to create beautiful yet melancholic works of art under its spell. Its cloudy appearance and strong licorice flavors provided fuel for their creations.

Traditional French preparation of absinthe involves pouring three ounces into a heavy parfait-style stemmed glass, placing a fork or special absinthe spoon with sugar cube on top, and slowly dripping ice-cold, distilled water over it until you achieve an effervescent libation known as the ritual that lasts six to 15 minutes.

This easy cocktail offers a modern take on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. Absinthe’s earthy anise notes pair beautifully with Amontillado sherry’s sweet nuts and tart sweetness as well as bittersweet lemon juice to form an irresistibly refreshing combination.