Some notes on the price of Absinthe vs. the price of Wine

A traditionally prepared glass of Absinthe.
A traditionally prepared glass of Absinthe.

When speaking of absinthe, people are often shocked by the price of a 750ml bottle – generally around $65 USD. Compared with a standard bottle of wine running at $15 or so, this understandably sounds expensive at first… but is it really? Let’s do some math.

Here, we are comparing a standard size bottle of absinthe with a standard size bottle of wine – 750ml.

750ml bottle = ~25oz

Next we take a look at at how many ounces constitutes a normal glass of each. Note that absinthe is traditionally prepared with ice cold water added in a ratio of 1:3, 1:4, or 1:5. For this example, we’ll use 1:4 since it is the median.

1 glass of wine = 5oz
1 glass of absinthe = 1oz

We then calculate, based upon this, how many glasses (or servings) each bottle will hold.

5 glasses of wine
25 glasses of absinthe

Again, these are the prices we are basing the next calculation upon. Wine prices vary wildly – so use your favorite bottle for a more personal calculation. I’m using $15 as a good, all purpose wine.

1 good bottle of wine = $15
1 good bottle of absinthe = $65

Dividing the price of each bottle by the number of expected servings will yield the price per serving for each.

1 standard glass of wine: 15/5 = $3.00
1 1:4 glass of absinthe: 65/25 = $2.60

So, as you can see… absinthe is not necessarily any more expensive than wine. In fact, using these calculations – it actually comes out quite a bit less expensive. Cheers!


Want to learn more about absinthe? I recently did a quick talk for Ignite Denver 12 that provides a good overview of the spirit:

For further information:

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