Absinthe, often called the Green Fairy in popular culture, is an herbaceous elixir with a long tradition of lore, intertwining the romance of the spirit and its use by artists, writers, and bohemians throughout the centuries. Absinthe was created in the 1790s by Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor living in Switzerland. Ordinaire created absinthe with the intent for it to be used as an alcohol-based elixir distilled from the bitter-tasting herb Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood.
Harmless, right? Well, the history of Absinthe is a long and complicated one, complete with tales and accusations that include fear of addiction, overconsumption, and too much popularity, with the end result being – like with the temperance movement here in the U.S. – that it was eventually outlawed.
It took decades to prove that wormwood, Absinthe’s unique ingredient, was harmless, and now Absinthe has made a comeback. The cocktail industry has had a lot to do with this resurgence in popularity, as Absinthe’s traditional presentation – slowly pouring the absinthe over a sugar cube placed on top of a slotted spoon into a glass – is a captivating process filled with pageantry, and therefore ripe with entertainment value in bar environs.
Absinthe also make a good mixer, and the folks at OldKnow Beverage Company, based in Rabun Gap, Georgia, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains (where there’s plenty of clean mountain water to make drinks with) just south of the North Carolina border, have come out with a line of Absinthe-based canned seltzers to help us get acquainted with this intriguing liqueur.
Obscura Verte Absinthe Spirited Seltzer (they also make Botanico Vodka Seltzer & Gin Seltzer) is 5% ABV and retails for $6 per can. Available in Georgia through Savannah Distributing and online.