Absinthe, aka The Green Fairy has the distinction of being the liquor most shrouded in controversy, myth and misunderstanding. First concocted in the late 1700s, Absinthe conveniently became a scapegoat for society’s ills and was eventually banned in virtually every civilized nation including the U. S. by 1912. A disease that devastated grape crops in France points to the underlying reason why this drink was demonized. Vintners launched an aggressive campaign to stem Absinthe’s formidable competition. Hence the obsession with thujone..more on that later.
Fast forward to the 1990s when this fabled spirit experienced a resurgence. It didn’t hurt that Hollywood depicted Absinthe as an enchanting intoxicant in key films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Moulin Rouge, and From Hell As a result, goth culture embraced it’s mysticism. Unfortunately, the liquor available at the time left little to be desired. There were only a handful of Eastern European knockoffs that bore little resemblance to the original recipe used during pre ban times.
That’s when Lucid was formulated by world renowned absinthe expert T.A. Breaux. Breaux was able to get his hands on a couple of unopened bottles of vintage absinthe in 1993. He had samples drawn for analysis which revealed that more than a century of speculation regarding absinthe’s content was largely false. Later corroborated by published scientific studies, he discovered that the thujone levels in many vintage bottles were mild and met modern standards.
Today, Lucid is distilled in strict accordance with traditional French methods. Crafted in the historic Combier distillery, founded in 1834, and designed by Gustave Eiffel in the fabled Loire Valley of France, Lucid is distilled entirely from spirits and European whole herbs using no artificial additives, oils, or dyes. Lucid Absinthe Supérieure is the first genuine absinthe made with real Grande Wormwood to be legally available in the United States after 95 years of Prohibition.
One reason the absinthe ban lasted so long here in the U.S. is because unlike whiskey, rum and gin, there is no official definition for it. It isn’t a liqueur and if it’s labeled as such, it’s a knock off. If you see “contains FD&C Yellow, Blue” it’s a dead giveaway that it’s a cheaper, artificially colored product. Although Absinthe is traditionally served with a splash of cold water making it louche (turn cloudy) and a touch of sugar, it’s becoming increasingly common to find it in cocktails.
Photo courtesy of Lucid Absinthe