Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's the Buzz about Absinthe, the Green Fairy?

I've recently noticed that Absinthe is on the shelves at local liquor stores and it seems every magazine I pick up lately has an article about it. I remember reading books set in the late 1800's - early 1900's that described it as being very addictive, causing hallucinations, even madness or death. It was very popular with the arts crowd in Paris during this time and was often depicted in paintings by some of the great masters. It was banned in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture in 1912. Recently, it was re-released into the U.S. and is back on the shelves.

Apparently the special ingredient is from the wormwood plant. There is a special way to prepare the drink. You pour it into your glass, then use a slotted spoon with a sugar cube on it, pouring a small amount of water into the Absinthe. Then the drink changes from a green color to a cloudy white. It tastes like licorice because it contains anise. The bottles I looked at this weekend were about 138 proof and 70% alcohol. Wow.

I priced several bottles this weekend and was disappointed to find they were well over $60. I will have to wait to see if they offer smaller bottles before I have a taste. It's a very intriguing story though!

Here are links if you want to "read more about it." If you try it, please let me know what it's like!