Absinthe is legal once again, now that it has been tested and proven not to be hallucinogenic. Perhaps more well-known for its infamous admirers, including Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway, than for its flavor profile, absinthe is made from artemisia absinthium (or wormwood) and a combination of French herbs, including the aromatic aniseed, giving it a unique herbal flavor. The preparation of absinthe is somewhat ritualistic. First, you pour an ounce in a glass. Then, with a slotted spoon balanced over the rim, slowly drip ice-cold water over a sugar cube. The elixir turns from chartreuse to opalescent white. Add more icy water once the sugar has dissolved, and it’s ready to drink. Try Pernod ($32.99, 750 ml). It’s the original absinthe, distilled in Switzerland in 1805 by the Pernod Fils Company using a secret recipe—which has been modified to contain a legal limit of thujone, the mind-altering ingredient found in wormwood. It’s high in alcohol, 68 percent by volume, so although you won’t start seeing things, you might be seeing double if you overindulge.
Available at Sigel’s, 3209 N. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-635-3162