This month, the GINtender would like to celebrate the four year anniversary of absinthe becoming legal once again. After over 95 years of an absinthe ban here in the United States, on March 5, 2007, Lucid was finally given the “OK” by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It was the first genuine absinthe to become available (legally) in the U.S. since 1912. So, in Lucid’s honor, we’ve dug up some authentic absinthe cocktails that are sure to bring out your green fairy wings, but first, we’ll touch on a little background.
First things first, absinthe has been demonized as a hallucinogen for well over a century because it contains an herbal ingredient called Grande Wormwood. True, real absinthe does indeed contain Wormwood but the popularly held belief that it produces “psychedelic” effects is absolutely 100% FALSE. Thujone is the drug in Wormwood…like THC to Marijuana. In large doses it can cause severe medical problems and even death, but the trace amounts found in a typical absinthe have been deemed completely harmless by modern science. Most of the negative myths surrounding absinthe were spread by temperance and prohibition enthusiasts in the early 20th century. The winemakers’ association of the time also helped spread false information about absinthe in an effort to eradicate one of wine’s closest competitors. Thanks to the likes of Viridian Spirits LLC (the producers of Lucid) and others, absinthe is once again recognized as a legitimate spirit.
The absinthes that are allowed into the United States today hold true historically to full measure recipes back in the 1900’s. In other words, today’s authentic absinthes are made with the exact same measurements of the exact same ingredients that were used when absinthe was at its peak.
Lucid, like all authentic absinthes, is distilled directly from a mixture of whole herbs in alcohol. This of course is where absinthe gets its naturally greenish tinge. Lucid also contains a standard dose of Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), like all ‘true absinthes’ must. Depending on the recipe, absinthe can range in alcohol content from 120-140 proof. Lucid measures out at about 124 proof.
There are many cocktails and different styles in which absinthe has traditionally been consumed (the GINtender does NOT endorse shooting absinthe…it’s always a bad idea). Perhaps the most popular is the French method.
French absinthe preparation:
So this month, the GINtender will work tirelessly to bring you some truly unique cocktails. We’ll start off with a few of the classics and work our way into more modern renditions of the absinthe cocktail. We even have a few of our own that we think the world may finally be ready for. And don’t be afraid to fire a few questions our way. There are no stupid questions…just stupid people . But seriously, we would like to get your comments, ideas and questions, so post them below!