When we think of the “Green Fairy,” we immediately imagine Al Gore in his bi-curious days. (And for legal reasons, we mean bi-partisan, of course.) But most of the world hears the term and immediately thinks of Absinthe, the mysterious mind-altering liquor that’s the stuff of legend.
For decades, artists supposedly drank the beverage before creating some of their best works. Van Gogh’s whole ear-removal hissy tantrum was apparently because of Absinthe. More recently, Kylie Minogue fluttered on-screen as a literal green fairy (voiced by Ozzy Osbourne, no less) during an Absinthe hallucination in Moulin Rouge.
With such a storied history, we were simultaneously scared and intrigued to try a modern-day Absinthe created right here in the U.S. Surely the U.S. government wouldn’t let us put anything bad in our bodies, right?
But not to worry. Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure has all the captivating flavor of the traditional wacky kind, without all the pesky hallucinations. Flavors of Grande and Petite Wormwood, Green and Star Anise, Fennel Doux Provence, Melissa (hopefully not Rivers), Genepi, Hyssop and Spearmint make this complex, indeed. Plus, the bottle is gorgeous. And you know we buy half our booze based on the bottle it comes in.
There are several Absinthe cocktail recipes, but our favorite is the traditional French method of imbibing. Simply pour 1.5 ounces of Vieux Carré into an appropriate glass (sorry, no jelly jars or recalled Shrek glasses from McDonald’s). Place a sugar cube atop a flat, perforated spoon (an opened tea ball works well if you don’t have a stash of Absinthe paraphernalia). Rest the spoon on the rim of the glass and slowly drip 4-5 ounces of ice cold water on top of the sugar, which slowly dissolves into the Absinthe. The cold water turns the Vieux Carré into an opalescent cloud as the herbal essences emerge. It’s really cool.
The flavors may take some getting used to, but it’s an elegant way to start any dinner party. And with any luck, a few green fairies will show up for dessert.