National absinthe day
March 5th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Fancy a visit from the green fairy? - March 5 is National Absinthe Day!

St. Patrick's Day is still more than a week away, but it's the perfect day to get your green drink on! Throw on your flapper dress or fedora in celebration of this vampy beverage.

This naturally green and highly alcoholic drink has a distinct flavor that combines green anise, wormwood, sweet fennel, culinary herbs and at times, a whole lot of sugar.

Absinthe has quite a history and memorable taste. Gaining popularity in France during the 1800s among artists and writers because it was pegged as particularly bohemian, it made its way to the U.S. as a famed favorite during Prohibition.

A chemical compound, thujone, could be traced in scant amounts to absinthe, and was immediately blamed as an addictive psychoactive drug with harmful effects. It was banned in the U.S. and Europe in 1915, but that didn't stop people from quaffing "la fée verte," or its nickname, "the green fairy."

But it turns out that the harmful effects were greatly exaggerated, and absinthe received a welcoming revival in the 1990s after the bans were removed. Now, nearly 200 brands are produced here and across Europe.

Join the ranks of Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde and Vincent van Gogh by raising a glass to this controversially sweet beverage - just don't let it go to your head.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. jj

    The Eurpean absinthe has a chemical in it that is still outlawed in America.

    March 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Anon Imous

      I think you mean Thujone (from wormwood). It is also in american Absinthe. Check out Lucid Absinthe, helped lift the ban in the USA.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  2. fussylady

    I did not know about this day! how interesting. Funny that I just put up my 'drink of the week' and it should have been an absinthe based one! OOPS Anyway, thanks for the heads up. As always great post. :)

    March 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  3. Renait

    Despite the supposed lifting of the ban, the absinthe sold in the US is not the real thing – you still have to import actual absinthe from Europe.

    March 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • lance winters

      Not true, actually. I make an absinthe that's based on a preban recipe and it's on the market
      . The only modifications are the addition of more herbs. It contains both artemesia absinthium and artemesia pontica in preban quantities.

      March 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Anon Imous

      Actually Lucid was reverse engineered from old bottles of Absinthe. Same ingredients. But classic brands like Clandestine and Kubler still my faves

      March 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  4. Rick

    Apparenty, it makes the heart grow fonder

    March 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • AleeD®

      LMAO! WIN!

      March 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  5. Tommy Chong

    Whoa dude. Far out man.

    March 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
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