Absinthe: Mystical Rituals
Absinthe is an iconic green spirit steeped in history. Affectionately known as la Fee Verte or Green Fairy, absinthe became beloved during its time. Consumed by bohemian artists, writers, and other creative types during its rise during Belle Epoque and Roaring Twenties popularity, legends claimed absinthe’s hallucinogenic properties could increase imaginative thought and creativity.
Absinthe production involves distilling with various herbs to achieve its signature taste, including green anise, florence fennel and grande wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)–commonly known as the holy trinity–along with other aromatic components like hyssop, dittany leaves lemon balm sweet flag star anise angelica root and veronica. Once packaged at high levels of alcohol by volume it must then be diluted down before consumption with water until reaching an ideal taste–this may vary depending on brand. The Wormwood Society provides an online calculator which calculates this for you when purchasing bottles of absinthe.
Absinthe manufacturers often utilize toxic chemicals during the distillation process to achieve both its color and louche; however, in more reputable bottles the green tint comes from chlorophyll present in herbs as well as essential oils found in wormwood, while non-soluble compounds from herbs precipitating out of solution with alcohol and creating its signature cloudiness. While home distillation attempts could potentially produce hazardous results (though many attempt it), for optimal absinthe experiences seek out trusted producers or bars specializing in its preparation.