Celebrated by artists and aristocrats alike for centuries, absinthe has long been the drink of choice for the creative type; also known as The Green Goddess, The Green Lady or The Green Fairy, the drink used to be a favorite among artists and writers due to it supposedly helping their creative flow.
National Absinthe Day aims to celebrate the strong alcoholic drink by observing its history and legacy, as well as enjoying a couple of sips of its strong green charm.
History of Absinthe Day
Just exactly when absinthe was first distilled is unclear. Created using wormwood extracts and leaves, the drink may have roots in remedies used by the ancient Greeks. However, according to legend, absinthe first came about as a cure-all remedy patented by Dr. Pierre Orginaire, in around the year 1972.
The recipe would continue to be sold as a medicinal elixir in the following years, and in 1797 the first absinthe distillery appeared in Couvet, Switzerland. The makers, known then as Pernod Fils, would sell the most popular brand of absinthe right up until 1914, which was when the drink was banned in France.
French troops in the 1840s would be given absinthe as a preventative for malaria, and when they came home brought their taste for the drink. Eventually, absinthe would become popular among all social classes, and mass production allowed the price to fall and saw absinthe become one of the most drunk beverages in France.
However, its especially high alcohol content would be one of the reasons it was banned in a number of countries in the early 1900s. Believed to be a drink which caused its drinkers to cause trouble among society, mainly by being violent and disorderly, it would not start to be drunk widely again until the 1990s.
How to celebrate Absinthe Day
Absinthe can be enjoyed alone in moderation – remember, it is very strong! The traditional way of serving it is to place a sugar cube onto a specially designed spoon, which is then placed over a glass which has already been filled with a measure of absinthe. Iced water is then poured over the sugar cube.
If absinthe alone is a little too strong for you, you could always mix up some cocktails with it – there’s plenty of tasty cocktails which can be made with the green drink. You could always get creative with different mixers.
As always, make sure you enjoy Absinthe Day responsibly!