What does the absinthe ritual do?
It is a tradition and it makes the absinthe go cloudy!
It is simply the traditional way of drinking absinthe.
Absinthe is a distilled highly alcoholic drink. It is 45–74% alcohol by volume / 90–148 U.S. proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit got from herbs. The herbs including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium ("grand wormwood"), together with green anise, sweet fennel.
Traditionally, absinthe is put into a glass. A sugar cube is then placed in the bowl of a special spoon. Ice-cold water is poured or dripped over the sugar until the drink is diluted. During this process, the parts that are not soluble in water make the liquid cloudy. The resulting milky opalescence is called the louche.
Preparing absinthe the traditional way
Apart from just simply the traditional way of preparing absinthe, it also has the merit of sweetening up a little this mildly bitter drink, as well as making it less strong for those who enjoy it thus.
Serving Absinthe with Water and Sugar
Mix a simple blend. Add 3 parts ice-cold water to 1 part absinthe. For a single serving, this is roughly 3 ounces of absinthe (or 3 shots) to 1 ounce of absinthe (or 1 shot). For each single serving, stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Alternately, absinthe can be sipped neat if you prefer the undiluted taste. But if so, drink moderately. Keep in mind that absinthe has nearly twice the alcohol content of most other liquors, which is why it is typically watered down.
If you are a fan of sugar, mix a teaspoon with the ice water before pouring. However, if you like your absinthe to be less sweet, skip it, since the louche’s milky cloud is formed not by the addition of sugar, but by chemical reactions between water and absinthe’s ingredients. - How to Make Absinthe Cocktail
My sister-in-law is from the Czech Republic, where the drinking of absinthe is quite popular. We always have it the traditional way, but many do not. Neat is alright too.
Collection of absinthe spoons. These are special spoons used to hold the sugar cube. Ice-cold water is poured over the sugar to dilute the absinthe. Note the slot on the handle that allows the spoon to rest safely on the brim of the glass. - Absinthe ((Wikipedia)