I have heard many fabled stories about “The Green Fairy” better known as Absinthe. Absinthe has been rumored to be a psychoactive drug. The history of this drink being highly addictive and mortally dangerous is nothing but romantic fiction.
Absinthe is distilled using flowers and leaves of the herb “Grande Wormwood”. Grande Wormwood is used in the production of other spirits and wines, including bitters, vermouth. I have yet to see someone hallucinate after drinking a Martini. Simply stated Wormwood will not make you trip. Keep in mind hops were banned in the 1500’s for the same reasons Absinthe was banned.
Here are two ways of preparing this drink “The French Method.” is placing a sugar cube on top of a special slotted spoon, this spoon in most cases looks more like a knife with holes in it. The Pernod Absinthe I am sampling has a Absinthe spoon packaged with the spirt. The spoon is placed on the glass which has been filled with a shot of absinthe. A few ounces ice water is then slowly poured or dripped over the sugar cube until it dissolves.
The second method “The Bohemian Method” has a bit more pageantry due to the use of fire. Like the for-mentioned method a sugar cube is placed on a slotted spoon over a glass containing one shot of absinthe. The sugar cube is soaked in Absinthe and lit on fire. The burning cube is dropped into the Absinthe and extinguished with a shot of cold water. This is refered to as the “Flaming Green Fairy”.
Seeing that Absinthe is highly alcoholic 45%–75% alcohol by volume, I don’t think you will have much trouble getting the sugar cube to catch fire.
Pernod Absinthe has a strong alcohol and black licorice aroma. It reminds me of a high test Sambuca or Ozo with a hint of herbs in the finish. It is like a bottle of Sambuca got a little too close to a bottle of Jagermeister. It is not a mixture of the two, as I said there is a slight hint of herb.
My next encounter with Absinthe may be sans-spoon. I love the taste I am an anise freak, still there is a bit too much production in the preparation of the drink. I think Absinthe over ice or a straight up shot may be in order next time. For now I will enjoy my The French Method cocktail and finish watching these little colorful bears dancing across my living room.