Also known as the "la fée verte” (The Green Fairy), absinthe has built quite a reputation for itself over the years. It was banned in the US, and much of Europe, for almost a century due to rumors of the hallucinogenic properties of this spirit. Does it actually cause hallucinations? I don’t know—I can’t remember what I did after I drank it.

Drinking absinthe neat is the way to go if you want a hole in your stomach while breathing fire. So for the sake of your safety (and the safety of those around you), I'm showing you how to craft a cocktail that makes absinthe much easier to swallow.

The drink “Death in the Afternoon” is named after a non-fiction book written by Ernest Hemingway. According to Hemingway, this drink should be consumed slowly due to its potency. Personally, I could not agree more, as trying to chug these will send you off to see the green fairy in no time.

WARNING: This drink is not called "Death in the Afternoon" for nothing. It has a very high alcohol content, and God knows what other effects absinthe might cause. If your body does not play well with lots of alcohol, check out some lighter cocktail recipes.

Death in the Afternoon

  • Prep Time:3 mins
  • Cook Time:3 mins
  • Total Time:6 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1 chilled bottle champagne
  • 0.5-1 oz. absinthe
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar to taste
alcohol, lime, tequila, martini, cocktail
Photo by David Wu
  • Step 1

    Cover the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with sugar. This can be done by putting some sugar in a plate, moistening the rim of the glass, and dipping the rim of the glass in the sugar-covered plate.

    Gif by David Wu
  • Step 2

    Put 1-2 teaspoons of sugar into the cocktail glass. How much sugar you put in should depend on your own taste.

    Gif by David Wu
  • Step 3

    Pour in 0.5 oz. absinthe.
    #SpoonTip: Feeling adventurous? Need some extra encouragement to text your crush? Really done with life? Try pouring 1 oz. instead.

    Gif by David Wu
  • Step 4

    Pour in the chilled champagne until it reaches the top of the glass. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

    Gif by David Wu

And it’s that simple. You’ve just made one of the most exotic cocktails on the planet. Feeling adventurous? Grab a camera and record yourself after drinking a couple of these―it’ll be hilarious. All jokes aside, please enjoy responsibly.

Want more ways to get tipsy? Check out these candy-inspired cocktails.