Tag Archives: Absinthe

Absinthe: The Infamous Spirit

Spirits / January 19, 2017 / No Comments.


Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. is launching a limited release artisanal absinthe. This ain’t your boring, regular absinthe (although, is absinthe ever boring?). Matured 18 months in Serbian Juniper wood barrels, this double-distilled Muscat brandy base, non-chill filtered spirit is unadulterated by any post distillation infusion of flavors and essences.

The unique liquid will be available by request only to very select bars and retailers across the Copper & Kings distribution footprint, as well as being sold at the distillery. This is some VIP stuff. The label features original fine art by Louisville artist Damon Westenhofer.

The absinthe is themed upon the mythological Balkan dragon legend Zmaj and is pronounced “Zm-eye.” Zmaj is legendary folklore with deep historical roots across the Balkans. Wealthy, sexy, lusty with a reciprocated regard for beautiful women. Extremely intelligent, super-human strength, benevolent but with a fire-breathing short-fused temper, which also could describe the spirit in the bottle.

“Absinthe has a somewhat mythological reputation,” said founder Joe Heron. “A reputation that is perhaps a little over-the-top, but to use the fantastical landscape represented a wonderful personality and canvas upon which to work. To imbue a sense of adventure, an incredible journey, and a lovely escapism. To let bartenders and drinkers dream a little.”

“An original. A spirit of such lushness and intensity that it defies a lot of rules… and expectations,” said head distiller Brandon O’Daniel. “Intense, elegant, the Muscat base adds voluptuousness and viscous mouthful, and the barrels add novel flavor nuance and depth that goes on and on. I’m not sure we can have more fun than we are having right now.”

Zmaj Absinthe Superior will be launched January 27 at the Copper & Kings distillery in Butchertown, with an artist and distiller bottle signing and a spectacular adult puppet show from the legendary puppet theatre company Squallis Puppeteers including music by the world-famous Puppet DJ. An event not to be missed, worthy of the legendary Zmaj. Tickets and additional information are available here.

Make Your Own Green Fairy: The Absinthe Kind

Our Stories / March 5, 2016 / No Comments.

1What better way to celebrate the day created for one of the most highly alcoholic beverages that to go back to the bootlegging days and make your own? Banned in the U.S in 1912 because of its hallucinogenic stigma, Absinthe, got its name from Artemisia absinthium, the scientific name for it’s key ingredient, wormwood. Long before distillers, or those people who make alcohol, discovered it, the herb was used for medicinal purposes. Medical or magical, the controversial alcohol became legal once again just a few years ago and now, in true American fashion, we celebrate its existence!

Here are your 7 simple steps to getting that green fairy magical taste:

 Step 1

To start, you’ll need to gather the basics, depending on your definition of basics…Think gathering ingredients for a witches’ brew perhaps.You can get the ingredients in-store or online like Bootlegbotanicals.com, specifically their Absinthe blend kit containing 11 organic herbs, spices and whatever else gives the fairy its magical green hue.

Alcohol is NOT included so be sure to pick up a nice hard spirit, like Everclear, just make sure whatever it is it’s 150 proof or more. The list of signature spices are as follows: Anise Star Pod, Anise seed, Fennel, Licorice root, Roman wormwood, Lemon peel, Hyssop, Angelica root, Coriander, Melissa & Grand Wormwood.

 Step 2

Put two cups of the base spirit in an airtight container. If you have a 190 proof base spirit like Everclear, add two ounces of water to slightly dilute. Use a funnel, or risk soaking yourself in ethanol.

 Step 3

Now you’re ready to add the first set of botanicals, a mixture of Anise Star Pod, Anise seed, Fennel, Licorice root, Lemon peel, Angelica root, and Coriander. If you don’t have the kit, make sure to use a mortar and pestle to crush them into small pieces.

Step 4

Then you shake it. Sha, sha, sha, shake it like a Polaroid picture. Then comes the wait. You should give it about 8-10 hours to marinate. Perhaps starting the project before a long winters nap, or bedtime, is ideal.

 Step 5

Next, add the wormwood. Historically this is the ingredient that causes incest-inducing hallucinations, but there’s still a lot of debate about the psychedelic potency of wormwood. Either way, you’ll want to add about two teaspoons of Grand wormwood into your mixture. It can have a very bitter taste, so Bootleg suggests steeping it in a tea bag for no more than three hours. Give it another shake for good measure.

Step 6

Then, double back on that winter’s nap. By this point, your absinthe will look a little more like dirty creek water than a magically inviting potion, so patience is important. After another 10-12 hours you’ll add the rest of your herbs (Hyssop and Melissa & Roman Wormwood), which are responsible for the green color.

Guess what you do next? Correct! Nighty night. Time to wait another 5 hours.

Step 7

Filter the fairy. You can either use a coffee filter or a strainer. But either way, you’ll need to cleanse your liquor of the pond scum look to reveal a green hued beauty. Like Cinderella’s pumpkin turning into a glowing chariot!

*** It won’t be neon Gatorade green, more like an earthy dark moss, and then you have succeeded!

When you’re done, store your absinthe in a dark bottle to prevent light from spoiling it.

The taste will be vaguely like licorice and singe-your-throat strong. Feel the burn, and let the weekend commence!

Recipe and image from: The Thrillist

How To: Absinthe and Moonshine

Featured Story / August 3, 2015 / No Comments.


Experienced drinkers know what they like. They’ll stick to the same brands, the same liquors, and the same mixed drinks when they hit the town. But routine can get boring. If you’re looking for a night of something new, why not go all the way with it? Absinthe and Moonshine are the big leagues. If you aren’t used to drinking them, be sure to pace yourself. They hit fast and they hit hard. But what’s the best way to enjoy something so dangerous?


A key player in episodes of shows like New Girl, Bob’s Burgers, and BoJack Horseman – A naive Absinthe drinker will leave his or her experience with nothing but embarrassment and a seemingly irreparable hangover. But that’s why you have us. Here are the keys to enjoying your Absinthe, and looking like a bad ass while you do:

You’ll need a few props if you want to get this right: a Pontarlier glass, an Absinthe spoon, ice cold water, and sugar cubes. If you don’t have the right glass, any cup will do. If you, like most of the population, are without an Absinthe spoon then find something similar to a spork that will hold a sugar cube in place but allow it to drip down into your glass.

The typical mixture is 1 part Absinthe, 3 parts water. Begin by pouring a 30 ml shot of Absinthe into the glass. If you are using a Pontarlier glass, you can just fill the bottom bubble. Then, place your sugar cube on the spoon and let them rest on top of the glass. Slowly pour your ice cold water over the sugar and watch it melt and fall into the Absinthe. After the sugar is melted and the appropriate amount of water has been added you should be left with a milky, cloudy beverage that is ready to sip. You’ll also look like the coolest guy at the party.


The reputation of Moonshine makes you feel extra-cool when you take a sip. A crucial piece of southern heritage, you can usually find it in a resealable mason jar, but more and more restaurants are adding it to their drink menus.

Moonshine gives the drinker options. You can drink it straight in slow, small sips if you want to grow some hair on your chest. This is made much easier when the Moonshine is flavored with something like apple and cinnamon, blackberry, or peach.

You can also choose to enjoy your Moonshine in a cocktail. A relative to whiskey, it’s a simple choice to take your usual whiskey and bourbon mixtures and swap in some ‘shine. Our personal favorite is pouring some Peach Moonshine in with iced tea then squeezing in a lemon. It’s a refreshing nod the the drink’s southern roots.

While both of these beverages offer delicious alternatives to your usual drink routine, it’s important that you don’t go overboard. Enjoy responsibly and don’t forget to share.


Made in the USA

Our Stories / July 2, 2014 / No Comments.


There’s a special day that we’re all encouraged to celebrate American-made products, and surprisingly, it’s not on July 4th. It’s today! July 2nd is known as Made in the USA Day, and it honors some of the greatest goods to come out of our awesome country.

We are constantly amazed by some of the high quality liquor that is currently being made in America. Our booze scene is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Here are some of the best brands of alcohol made in the USA (grab some for your 4th of July celebration):

  • Jack Daniels
  • Bluecoat American Dry Gin
  • Samuel Adams Beer
  • Cakebread Cellars Wine
  • Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • Yuengling Beer
  • Duckhorn Vineyards
  • Laird’s Applejack
  • St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte
  • Jordan Vineyard & Winery

There are obviously a ton of amazing alcohol brands in the United States and it would be impossible to list them all. We named some of the bigger, more well-known brands, but with the craft beer and alcohol boom in our country, there are countless smaller brands that are definitely making their mark.

What’s your favorite American-made beer, wine, or spirit?


Drink Hip

Our Stories / June 11, 2014 / No Comments.


The hipster culture in the US has been on the rise for some time now. Whether you’re a part of it, contrary to it, or just totally ambivalent toward it, there’s no denying that this craze of ironic t-shirts and flannel is going strong. If you’re on the lookout for some hipsters in their natural habitat, head over to the nearest—yet most obscure—coffee shop, and look for anyone with thick-framed glasses, artfully executed tattoos, and/or exceptionally tight jeans. You’re sure to run into some.

As with most aspects of their lives, hipsters lead a highly regulated existence, with rules guiding the majority of their actions. When it comes to drinking, it is no different. Here are some guidelines to follow if you’re interested in how the average hip man or woman imbibes:

1. When in doubt, go for PBR.
2. If your concoction is not of optimal hip-ness, pour it into a mason jar and you’ll be good to go.
3. When perusing a drink menu, choose the drink you’ve never heard of (or better yet, can’t pronounce).
4. The more “old man” your drink is, the hipper you become.
5. Never, and we mean never, order a frozen-fruity drink. Ever.

If you’re still lost when it comes to mastering the ways of hipster drinking, here are some recipes to help you out.

Death in the Afternoon
Pour one shot of absinthe into a Champagne flute. Add champagne to taste (4-6 oz.). Try to enjoy.

Elderflower Martini
Add 2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. elderflower cordial, ½ oz. dry vermouth, and ½ oz. limejuice to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Put on the most pretentious face possible and sip slowly.

Blood and Sand
Add equal parts scotch, freshly-squeezed orange juice, sweet vermouth and cherry liqueur to an iced-filled shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass and risk your life by garnishing with a flamed orange peel. Trust us, it’ll be so worth it.

Combine double shots of whiskey and spicy dill pickle brine in a glass. Garnish with pickles and dill sprigs. Yum?


Stay Classy, Absinthe Drinkers

Our Stories / March 5, 2014 / No Comments.


Random holidays are our favorite thing, but random holidays revolving around alcohol are the absolutely best. Luckily, today is one of those great days; today is National Absinthe Day.


We’ve talked about our love for absinthe on many different occasions, but we don’t feel like this glowing green liquor gets the respect that it deserves. People still like to associate it with hallucinating and getting a little too crazy, but absinthe can actually be part of some classy-looking cocktails. So, to celebrate National Absinthe Day, we encourage you to make one of these classy absinthe cocktails and toast to the green fairy.


The Green Beast


Okay, the name “Green Beast” is so not classy, but the actual contents of the cocktail are. We won’t judge you if you choose a new name for this drink, but we do encourage you to pour it into a tall, thin glass and put lots of cucumber slices in because it totally adds to the appeal.


  • Fill a tall glass with ice and add 1 oz. Lucid absinthe, 1 oz. lime juice, 1 oz. simple syrup and 4 to 6 oz. filtered or spring water.


  • Garnish with thin cucumber slices, stir and serve.


Billionaire Cocktail


This beautiful Billionaire Cocktail was developed by Dushan Zaric of New York City’s bar Employees Only. It also isn’t green, so it doesn’t scream “I’m drinking absinthe!”


  • In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz. high-proof bourbon, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, 1/4 oz. absinthe bitters or absinthe, and 1/2 oz. grenadine syrup made from pomegranate.


  • Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.




The Suissesse cocktail is a staple at The Old Absinthe House in New Orleans. It’s easy to make, refreshing, and surprisingly delicious.

  • In a blender, combine the following ingredients: 1 1/2 oz. Enigma VS absinthe, 1/2 oz. orgeat syrup, 1 egg white, 1/2 oz. single cream and 4 oz. shaved ice. Blend for 5 seconds.


  • Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

Raise your glass to the “green fairy” of alcohol tonight.



Absinthe Cookies Put Betty Crocker To Shame

Our Stories / September 3, 2013 / No Comments.

Absinthe Cookies

 We’re loving absinthe’s comeback into the mainstream drinking world, so we were really excited to see a new product that puts it in the spotlight. The best part is it combines drinking with dessert …friends, meet Absinthe Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from MLA Gourmet.


MLA Gourmet has been making premium, all-natural cookie products for a while, but now they are the first company to bring liquor-infused cookie dough to our local grocer’s “Frozen Desserts” section. Made with Lucid Absinthe, the cookies take on the unmistakable anise flavor, along with herbs and botanicals. Apparently absinthe goes great with chocolate so MLA uses dark Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in the mix. We haven’t tried them yet, but you better believe it’s on the top of our “To Do” list right now.


Since you may not be able to find MLA’s absinthe cookie dough everywhere immediately, you can also make your own absinthe cookies at home if you’re feeling adventurous. Start practicing now and you’ll have the perfect boozy dessert for the holidays.


This recipe from a fine kettle of ish doesn’t use the absinthe in the actual cookie (though it does have anise extract), but it does use it for a delicious glaze you pour on top. We’re going to give you the recipe for the glaze so you can see how the absinthe is used, but if you want to make the whole cookie, make sure you click through to the recipe linked above.


  • Melt 1.5 Tbsp. of butter and whisk in 1.5 Tbsp. of absinthe, a pinch of salt and 1 Tbsp. of milk.
  • Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and continue whisking. Continue to add another 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and a tiny bit more milk until the icing reaches a consistency that you like.
  • Add 1-2 drops of green food coloring (the icing should be pale green)
  • If you taste it and think it needs more flavor, add a few more drops of absinthe or anise extract.
  • Refrigerate the icing for 5 minutes so it can firm up a little bit


When you’re done making the cookies, send a batch to us so we can taste the final product. Or you can just keep them for yourself. Whatever.

Drinking With The Green Fairy

Our Stories / March 5, 2013 / No Comments.

absintheIn a little less than two weeks, many of us will suit up in our finest green attire and then head down to the local pub to celebrate being Irish (or pretending to be.) Today, however, is a dress rehearsal. Instead of little green leprechauns, this day is about little green fairies – yes friends, today is National Absinthe Day.


We are so glad that absinthe has its own special day because up until recently, it was a bit misunderstood. It got a reputation as a dangerous beverage and was banned for nearly a century in the United States. That, of course, makes it even more attractive to us. Hey, we like to take a walk on the wild side.


We love that in absinthe’s renaissance, bars are really embracing it and coming up with interesting concoctions for patrons. It’s usually served with sugar and water, but some mixologists are being more creative. Apotheke, a bar in NYC, has a drink called “Cherry Licorice” and it’s tart cherries, single malt scotch, absinthe essence, house-made cherry bitters and a cherry licorice garnish. Absinthe Brasserie in Houston has a whole menu of absinthe cocktails, including the Hallucinating Melon – absinthe, Midori and Baileys layered and then flamed.


However you choose to drink your absinthe, tell us how you enjoyed it. Happy National Absinthe Day.



Absinthe: A Timeline

Our Stories / July 2, 2012 / 2 Comments.

1792 — Swiss Dr. Pierre Ordinaire is said to have invented the first absinthe — a wormwood liqueur made with chamomile, melissa and anise.
1797 — Henri-Louis Pernod gets his hands on Dr Ordinaire’s absinthe recipe by way of a lucrative business deal. Pernod and his friend Daniel Henri Dubied promptly opened the first absinthe distillery, located in the beautiful Couvet, in Switzerland.
1805 — Henri-Louis Pernod opens a new, larger absinthe distillery in Pontarlier, France. Shortly after this, other copy-cat absinthe brands were created, including Oxygenee, Terminus, Pernot, Armand Guy and others.
1830 —Louis Philippe, the “Citizen King”, ascends to the French throne. It was under the reign of Louis Philippe that absinthe became a common drink in its own right. Prior to this it was really only drunk as a cordial, and used as a flavour for other beverages.
1840 — French soldiers fighting in Algeria in the 1840s drank absinthe as a preventative tonic against malaria and other diseases. It didn’t take long for the soldiers to get used to the distinctive taste of absinthe and start to drink it in quantities that exceeded its ‘tonic’ status. This sparked the first big surge in absinthe’s popularity in France.
1850 — Henri-Louis Pernod dies. When his sons Louis-Alfred and Fritz took over in 1850 the factory was producing over 20,000 litres of absinthe a day.
1859 — Manet paints “The Absinthe Drinker”. He also meets Charles Baudelaire, who was a big fan of absinthe. Baudelaire, a well-known poet and art critic, had a great influence on Manet’s life, as he promoted the revival of graphic art and introduced him to the leading artists of the era’s etching movement.
1876 — Degas paints “L’Absinthe,” one of Degas’s most celebrated works, is also one of his most controversial. It was exhibited in London in 1893 and raised many questions: was it acceptable to paint poverty?
1878 — 8 million litres of Absinthe were imported into the United States this year.
1887 — Van Gogh paints “Still Life with Absinthe“. Van Gogh was clearly fixated by what has been called the “cocaine of the nineteenth century”.
1888 — After an evening drinking absinthe, and a fierce argument with his artist housemate Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh cut off the lobe of his left ear.
1900 — On November 30th Oscar Wilde dies penniless in a cheap Parisian hotel. Oscar Wilde is one of the most famous absinthe drinkers.
1901 — Picasso paints “The Absinthe Drinker” and “Woman Drinking Absinthe.”
1905-1910 — Absinthe banned in Belgium, Switzerland and Holland.
1910 — French production of absinthe reaches 36 million litres annually.
1913 — Charles Foley’s one-act play Absinthe is performed for the first time at the Grand Guignol in Paris.
1915 — Absinthe is officially banned in France.
1922 — The French government passed a bill allowing the sale of imitation (wormwood-free) Absinthe.
1988 — The definitive Absinthe book, “Absinthe History In A Bottle” is written by absinthe connoisseur, Barnaby Conrad III and published by Chronicle Books of San Francisco, USA.
2001 — Absinthe is re-legalized in France.