Green African Absinthe
2024: Gold

Intercontinental Spirits Challenge

A classic absinthe verte with an aromatic fusion of traditional botanicals and herbs selected from Africa’s rich herbal heritage

Based on a traditional classic absinthe verte recipe, this beautiful aromatic absinthe has been created from alcoholic tinctures and distillates of wormwood, hyssop and fennel combined with infusions of fragrant African botanicals used in traditional African remedies, including artemesia afra, the African wormwood, which has long been used to treat an astonishing range of ailments.

The resulting spirit is a slightly bitter, refreshing herbal aperitif with smooth aniseed flavours lifted by notes of citrus and mint, with a characteristic green colour that comes entirely from an infusion of natural herbs.

‘Umphuphi’ – The Dreamer – is a truly African expression of the absinthe style, but best enjoyed in the traditional French tradition, diluted with iced water poured over a sugar cube until the green fades to a shimmering cloudy lemon-coloured elixir. Or get creative and experiment with one of our amazing absinthe cocktails. Enjoy!

Tasting Notes

Aroma:  Pronounced aniseed and fennel aromas, with complex herbal undertones reminiscent of an open meadow in spring, lifted by clean, fresh lemon and mint notes that carry forward onto the palate

Palate:  Characteristic bitterness from the wormwood and hyssop, married with sublime sweet liquorice flavours and light citrus and herbal notes

Finish:  A lingering aniseed sweetness on the palate as the slight bitterness fades into an enjoyably smooth finish, lightened by citrus and fresh mint

Product Specifications

Spirit class: Absinthe
Colour: Green 
Volume: 500 ml
Alc/vol: 60% 
UPC: 6009880823475


African wormwood • wild dagga • buchu • fennel • hyssop • hemp • melissa • mint • lemongrass and other aromatic

The (Disreputable) History of Absinthe

There is evidence of wormwood being mixed with wine in ancient Egypt and Greece, but it is generally accepted that the absinthe we drink today follows an 18th century recipe created in Switzerland by Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor who sold it as an all-purpose remedy.

From the outset, it was consumed with sugar and water to make it more palatable. It was even given to French troops as a malaria preventative, and the soldiers’ fondness for the drink caused it to travel back to France where it quickly became popular, especially among the artists and writers of Paris. Prominent names that are known to have indulged in absinthe are Lewis Carroll, Charles Baudelaire, James Joyce, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and, famously Ernest Hemingway, who summed up one experience concisely:

         “Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks.”

Apparently a piano was also involved.

Absinthe became quite notorious. Also known as la fée verte (green fairy), it was (incorrectly) believed that consuming absinthe would lead to wild hallucinations and general debauchery. In reality absinthe is no more psychoactive than any other spirit, and these tall tales were often spread by social conservatives who believed in prohibition and generally were against anyone having a good time!

Due in part to its reputation and spurred on by prohibitionists, absinthe was banned across the United States and most of Europe by 1915, though underground production and consumption continued unabated. It was not until the 1990s that countries began lifting their ban on absinthe and by 2005 absinthe was once again freely enjoyed across the globe, with more than 200 brands of absinthe being produced in a dozen countries, mostly across west and central Europe.

It is only natural that Africa, which its rich traditions of herbal medicine, should produce an absinthe that reflects the vast natural resources of this great continent.

Enjoying Absinthe the traditional way

Image - The Absinthe Ritual
The Absinthe Ritual: Enjoying Absinthe with Friends

Absinthe should always be enjoyed ice-cold. It can be sipped neat. Absinthe drunk this way is a very bitter but fragrant drink, with mouth-watering aniseed flavours, but the bitterness is unpalatable except for the most hardened absinthe drinker, and the high alcohol content does not allow the complex flavours to truly express themselves.

The most popular way to enjoy absinthe is the ritualistic and very social ‘Absinthe Cocktail’ where one slowly drips a double shot of ice cold water over a sugar cube into a glass of absinthe. Diluting it this way ‘tames’ the spirit and results in an ice-cold, cloudy and deliciously refreshing cocktail that is not bitter at all.

Featured recipes

Classic Absinthe Frappe cocktail

Classic Absinthe Frappe

The Absinthe Frappe is a refreshing New Orleans-style cocktail: a clean, refreshing powerful mix of absinthe, ice, sugar and mint.

Corpse Reviver #2 cocktail

Corpse Reviver #2

One of many recipes conceived to revive one after a night out partying, this strong but flavourful cocktail merges herbal aniseed flavours with fragrant citrus.

Green Beast cocktail

Green Beast

A surprising and unusual absinthe cocktail. Delicious as a single drink, and equally tasty as a punch in a bowl to get your party started!

Death in the Afternoon cocktail

Death in the Afternoon

This heady blend of absinthe and Champagne was created by the absinthe-loving Ernest Hemingway, and shares its name with his book about Spanish bullfighting. It is aptly named!

Manufactured by Deep South Distillery
52 Heron Park, Wildevoelvlei Rd, Kommetjie
+27 21 783 0129