Absinthe, primarily the French drink (3)
I believe the answer is:
'drink' is the definition.
(type of beer)
'absinthe primarily the french' is the wordplay.
'primarily' indicates taking the first letters.
'the french' becomes 'le' ('the' in French).
The initial letter of 'absinthe' is 'a'.
(Other definitions for ale that I've seen before include "Brewery product" , "Intoxicating drink" , "The A in CAMRA" , "festival" , "Alcoholic beverage" .)