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The Myth of Absinthe

Sucpicions about absinthe and its connection to an artsy, dissolute bohemian set had swirled for years in Europe where the likes of Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde were frequently observed hanging out with the Green Fairy!  These trend setters worried the wine industry who feared that the general public would consume more and more Absinthe and less and less wine thus a war was declared on Absinthe. The wine industry embarked on a massive misinformation campaign about Absinthe and when a labourer in Switzerland killed his wife and daughters in 1905, supposedly after drinking absinthe, the outcry to ban it was enormous.  Truth be known the man in question was a notorious alcoholic who had imbibed a wine barrels worth of other booze leading up to the crime made no difference and a petition was circulated, and absinthe was outlawed in Switzerland. Similar petitions followed and bans were imposed in several European countries and eventually the United States followed suit where a ban on absinthe preceded full nationwide Prohibition by eight years! The Green Fairy was banned for 95 years in The States beginning in 1912, a ban that was not lifted until 2007! So next time you are sitting at a pro bar ask the mixologist to make you a Hallucinogenic Monk, but be careful whilst there are less than 10 parts per million of Thujone (Grand Wormwood) in Absinthe it is without question a high octane experience

 Hallucinogenic Monk

1 oz absinthe

½ oz brandy & Benedictine

2 dashes wormwood bitters

½ fresh lime juice

1 oz H2O

In a shaker, combine ice, absinthe, B & B, Bitters, lime juice and water.

Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass.


Episode 1 Motor City Meltdown

Recipe courtesy of John Green

Host of On The Rocks, Food Network