The green fairy returns to the States

It inspired Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Rimbaud. Now it can inspire you perhaps?

Absinthe, the cocktail preferred by Parisian artists, writers and poets of long ago is returning to the United States after a 100 year absence. The alcohol hasn’t been seen in these parts since 1910, but now it’s available in New York City and the Hamptons courtesy of Viridian Spirits via France.

They’re still trying to find online distribution and break into other markets, but keep an eye out for Lucid. It’s made with actual wormwood, fennel and anise, along with other herbs. It’s also 62% alcohol per volume. From the NY Daily News:

Viridian is trying to correct the misperceptions that have given absinthe a bad rap. A liquor distilled from herbs, including wormwood, anise and fennel, which give it its distinct color and licorice taste, absinthe was first introduced in late 18th century France as an herbal remedy. It later caught on with artists and the Cafe Society, who nicknamed it “The Green Fairy” for its supposed clarifying effects on the mind. That absinthe was cheap and there was a wine shortage didn’t hurt. At its height, the French consumed 36 million liters a year. Absinthe, however, soon came to be blamed for rampant drunkenness and gained a reputation as a dangerous elixir that produced hallucinations and bizarre behavior, leading to its ban in Europe and many countries. The culprit was believed to be thujone, a toxin contained in wormwood. (Absinthe also figured in the mysterious disappearance of George Allen Smith IV, of Greenwich, Conn., from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in 2005 while on his honeymoon. He and a group including his wife were reported to have been drinking absinthe purchased in Italy the evening he presumably went overboard.)

Modern science has debunked many of the myths surrounding absinthe, including that it contains large amounts of thujone. But its reputation as the Lindsay Lohan of liquors lingers on. To counter that reputation, Viridian turned to an American-born absinthe expert and historian, T.A. Breaux, to develop its formula. Lucid is made using authentic techniques, including antique copper stills and pure French herbs. The product has just a minute amount of thujone, allowing it to pass U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations. But since it’s a whopping 124 proof, the company recommends it be consumed in the traditional manner: diluted with water. As for its edifying effects, Jared Gurfein, president of Viridian and a lawyer by training, would only say that Lucid ($59.95 for 750 ml) delivers “a unique buzz.”

No hallucinations. Boo to that. I guess that’s a good thing tough, so presumably this won’t happen?

Not sure what Ozzy has to do with anything, but if that’s how Absinthe makes you feel then I want to scream like “The Prince of Darkness.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Next post:

Previous post: