Why Does Absinthe Lose Its Green Color?

For centuries, artists have been fascinated by absinthe’s unique green color. It’s nothing short of legendary!

But where does the green color come from and why is your bottle of absinthe more of a red-brown color?

If you’re wondering why your absinthe seems to have lost its green color, there’s no need to worry. This is totally natural and doesn’t mean that you’ve wasted money on a bottle of “dead” absinthe.

So let’s take a closer look at what makes absinthe lose its color!

What Makes Absinthe Lose Its Green Color?

Absinthe’s famous distinctive green color comes from the natural chlorophyll in the herbs used to make it.

This is why you can find absinthe in different colors like green (verte), red (rouge), and clear (blanc/bleu.) The herbs used in producing the absinthe are what add both color and extra flavor!

You can learn more about the different absinthe styles by clicking here.

So what’s the deal with the color change?

The real reason why absinthe turns a different color over time is because of the chlorophyll being broken down because of light exposure. The chlorophyll molecules are photoreactive so they react with sunlight or UV light and start to break down.

This results in changes to the absinthe’s color. It goes from the initial deep green to a yellow-green color. From there, the breakdown continues and the absinthe will begin to show more of a red-brown tint instead.

Recommended: How to Properly Prepare Absinthe (Beginner Friendly Guide)

Does Absinthe Changing Color Affect the Flavor?

This change has no effect on the flavor though! Your absinthes will still taste just as good even if it has lost its original green color.

It’s quite natural as well! The alcohol content in absinthe tends to be higher than other types of liquor so over time the chlorophyll can break down and change colors naturally without affecting taste quality.

So don’t worry if you see your favorite Fairy going through a few different hues!

Honestly, the absinthe changing color over time marks a kind of authenticity. Where real absinthes are delicately made with herbs that will experience this color change in time, fake and knock-off absinthes usually pump in tons of artificial coloring.

Generally speaking, your absinthe changing color is more of a sign of quality than if it stayed emerald green! Just look at one of my favorites: Vieux Carré for example!

So next time you see your absinthe bottle has changed colors, don’t throw it out! It’s perfectly normal and still just fine to drink!

A reddish-brown hue doesn’t spoil the flavor of your absinthe.

Preserving the Color of Your Absinthe

The best way to preserve the color of your absinthe is by storing it in a dark place and away from sunlight and temperature changes.

Many absinthes will come in dark bottles for this exact reason, though some don’t.

Most importantly, it will retain its flavor if you store it properly. The color change is inevitable, but you can prolong the color with the same care.

I recommend checking out my guide to properly storing your absinthe. You can click here to read that!

So make sure that your absinthe stays out of the sunlight and heat, and it will maintain its green shade for as long as possible!


So there you have it, the mystery of why absinthe loses its green color has been solved!

Absinthes change colors all the time without compromising their flavor, which makes them more intriguing than other spirits. As you sip on your favorite absinthe at home this weekend – just remember that there’s nothing wrong with this natural process of changing colors.

If anything, it adds an extra element of fun and mystique!

Absinthe Fiend

Writer, absintheur, and cheeky devil. Don't let the name fool you! I'm actually very friendly (though a bit eccentric...)

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