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Absinthe is a distilled spirit of many herbs and spices. The ingredient wormwood caused its ban around the turn of the century in most countries.
It is not the intent here to harp on the dangers of wormwood, nor to glorify its modern day consumption. The purpose is more to explore its fascinating history and provide you with a peek of la fée verte (the green fairy) on the web.
Absinthe was one of the main ingredients in the making of the first cocktails. The Sazerac is reputed as the original cocktail. Others containing Absinthe include; Absinthe Cocktail, Absinthe Frappe, Maiden's Blush, Merry Widow, and the Absinthe or Pernod Drip Cocktail. Absinthe is an emerald green color. When prepared as a drip it turns into a yellowish opaline color.
Pernod was an original Absinthe. It is still distilled today without the wormwood. Ricard, Herbsaint, Anisette, Ouzo, and Sambuca are also used as a substitute. In 1912 Picasso painted The Glass and the Bottle, which featured a Pernod bottle in cubist mode.
These good-looking Pernod glasses are officially licensed and marked with an absinthe line, so you can prepare the perfect cocktail easily.
Ingredients; 1 1/2 oz. Pernod, 1 sugar cube
To be authentic this drink should be made in an "absinthe drip glass." Pack a mound of crushed ice atop the sugar. When the ice melts, the drink is ready.
Absinthe is legal once again in the United Kingdom and has no restrictions on contents. Absente is a fairly new product that is described as "Abstinthe refined" and contains legal amounts of thujone from Southernwood instead of the controversial botanical cousin Wormwood. This product is legal in the United States.
(c) 2013 Kathy Hamlin