"Chasing the green fairy" is a euphemism for drinking absinthe, a mysterious spirit shrouded in mystery, drama and even death.
Often mistaken for a liqueur, absinthe is technically a spirit because it isn’t sweetened like liqueurs. Abinthe is correctly grouped with vodka, gin and whiskey.
Absinthe is made by infusing wormwood, fennel, anise and other herbs into alcohol through the distillation process. The creation of absinthe is credited to Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor. Ordinaire developed and prescribed the elixir in the early 19th century as a cure for many illnesses.
Absinthe features a strong licorice flavor and a high alcohol content, making it uniquely flavored as well as potent. It is often served with ice and a sugar cube placed on a slotted spoon over the glass and water poured over the sugar before imbibing.
The Green Fairy, is also known as the Green Goddess or the Green Lady. The drink has long been popular with artists, actors and writers, and was romantically featured in the movie "Le Moulin Rouge".
Absinthe was blamed for causing madness, seizures and low morality among partakers. After one murderer was found to have imbibed absinthe before killing his family and pregnant wife, it quickly lost favor and was banned for decades in France and the United States.
While absinthe was rumored to have hallucinogenic effects, studies have since proven there is nothing hallucinogenic about the drink itself. Absinthe does have a higher alcohol content than other spirits, so it's important to drink responsibly.
Recently, the worldwide absinthe ban has been lifted, drawing curious creative types to experience their own adventures "chasing the green fairy".
March 5th was chosen as National Absinthe Day as an acknowledgement of the final approval of Pernod Fils Absinthe on this date in 2013.
Images courtesy of www.NationalDayCalendar.com.
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