NATIONAL ABSINTHE DAY
March 5th is also known as National Absinthe Day. This day is for those who are 21 years or older to celebrate a drink called absinthe.
Often mistaken for a liqueur, it is truly a spirit because it isn’t sweetened. It belongs to the vodkas, gins, and whiskeys when categorizing absinthe.
The spirit is made by infusing wormwood, fennel, anise, and other herbs into alcohol through distillation. Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor, is credited with the creation of absinthe. He developed and prescribed the elixir in the early 19th century as a cure for many illnesses.
It has a strong licorice flavor to it and has a high alcohol content. The spirit is often served with ice, a sugar cube placed on a slotted spoon over the glass, and water poured over the sugar.
Also known as the Green Fairy, the Green Goddess, or the Green Lady, the drink was popular with artists and writers. It was also once rumored to have hallucinogenic effects. Just as it was gaining popularity, its reputation took some severe blows as the century was coming to a close.
Many blamed the Green Lady for causing madness, seizures, and low morality, among other ills of society. One of the final blows was a scandal in 1905 involving a French laborer who had spent the day drinking. His drink of choice was absinthe. Later that day, he murdered his children and pregnant wife.
France banned the drink, and other countries soon followed. In the United States and around the world, the ban has since been lifted.
Studies have proven there is nothing hallucinogenic about the drink. Absinthe does have a higher alcohol content than other spirits, so keeping that in mind is important to drink responsibly.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalAbsintheDay
- Celebrate the day by learning more about absinthe.
- Have a taste, mix up a cocktail or watch a documentary.
- If you prefer to read up on your absinthe mixology, we found a few books you might want to page through.
- Absinthe Cocktails: 50 Ways to Mix with the Green Fairy by Kate Simon
- A Taste for Absinthe: 65 Recipes for Classic & Contemporary Cocktails by James F. Thompson and R. Winston Guthrie
- The Little Green Book of Absinthe: An Essential Companion with Lore, Trivia, and Classic and Contemporary Cocktails by Paul Owens and Paul Nathan
- Pub owners, host a cocktail tasting featuring the Green Goddess. Include history, tantalizing tidbits, and famous dancers partners of the Green Lady.
- Try making your own absinthe cocktail to celebrate.
- Discover more about plants that go into making spirits.
- Have some absinthe (Remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive) and use #NationalAbsintheDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL ABSINTHE DAY HISTORY
Why March 5th? It’s a nod to Pernod, and the day the approval of their final label for Pernod Fils Absinthe became official in 2013.
Q. Is absinthe always green?
A. Traditionally, absinthe is green. However, when it’s distilled, the resulting spirit is clear. The green comes from added natural herbs and colors.
Q. Is wormwood a tree?
A. No. While the name may suggest that wormwood is a tree, it is a semi-woody herb. Other semi-woody plants include lavender and rosemary.