My Robe is the Color of Despair: National Absinthe Day

There is something about the ghostly green of a properly louched absinthe drink that evokes Halloween – images of fairies, madness, and exuberant excess swirl within its depths; now jade, now palest green, now a poisonous milk white.  Extremely popular among Bohemians at the end of the 1800’s, absinthe was later demonized by the powerful wine industry and banned in the early 20th century. Upon its recent re-legalization, absinthe has enjoyed a quiet resurgence while still maintaining its air of menace and mystery.

Viktor Oliva, The Absinthe Drinker (1901)

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Although Halloween remains a long 240 days away, today is the perfect opportunity to indulge in a drop or two of absinthe.  Informally known as National Absinthe Day, this is the anniversary of the United States’ repeal of their absinthe ban.

Fortuitously,  BoyDrinksWorld has posted a recipe today for one of my very favorite absinthe drinks: The Corpse Reviver No. 2. Won’t you join me tonight, darlings, in this dangerously drinkable diversion?  We’ll lift our glasses together and say, as they do in Hungary, Fenékig (until the bottom of the glass)!

Related Links:

Five Spooky Treats for Halloween

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Categories: Food & Drink, Holidays

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14 replies

  1. The titles of your posts are fancier than my whole site. I think I might start copying you.

    “My Pants Fell Down at my Family Reunion”. Wait, that’s a whole post for me. Ugh.

    I wish I could get some absinthe. Seems to me that if you have to do all that sugar cube and fire jazz, by the time you were good and ripped you would not be able to drink anymore as you would not be able to perform the steps. Hmm.

    • Acadia darling, one of the perks of being infernal is access to just volumes of dusty history. This particular title comes from a 19th century anti-absinthe song (“I am the Green Fairy/My robe is the colour of despair…”).

      If the traditional louche seems too complex, you could try one of my other favorite absinthe cocktails, Death in the Afternoon. Just pour an ounce or so of absinthe in a champagne flute, then slowly fill with very cold champagne. Couldn’t be easier to make, and I guarantee you won’t need more than two or three. ;-)

  2. Eva while I have not danced with the green lady, I have wanted to its hard to find where I live I have never even seen a bottle of it, hell they just started carrying JD green lable here.
    I somehow doubt what made her so popular back in the 1800’s will pour out of the bottles sold today

    • I agree, Jim. Given the difficulty and expense still required to procure a bottle, I think absinthe will retain some of its allure, but many modern drinkers likely would not find its strong flavor to their taste.

  3. As if I couldn’t love this site anymore, you had to go and post something about absinthe, one of my favorite spirits! You continue to amaze me, Eva! I haven’t bought a bottle of absinthe in two years (a bit pricey for a victim of the recession) but I may have to change that and pick up a bottle of Lucid today! Pour up a glass, light my bleeding skull candles, throw on the music of one of my favorite artists, Marilyn Manson, and watch an old horror movie or two to complement to ghoulish buzz of absinthe!

    -Steve

  4. Beautiful post!! I love the art and I really appreciate the link love.

  5. I’ve been a fan for years. I used to illegally import Absinthe into the states but have gone out to a few bars since it’s re-legalization. I’ve been pretty unhappy about it because they’ll usually do a poor job with the louche or set the drink on fire. I don’t want to pay top dollar for bottom shelf absinthe that someone burned all of the alcohol off of. I’ve had much better luck ordering a Corpse Reviver but there isn’t a whole lot of absinthe in it, but I suppose there aren’t a whole lot of absinthe centric drinks anyway.

    • Something I’ve learned over the last 80 or so years is that the more you like something special when it comes to cocktails/liquor, the more you will be disappointed by what most bars serve. If you’re really into drinks with absinthe, you might take a look at A Taste for Absinthe. I’m particularly fond of the B Monster.

      • That’s true. I’ve found myself doing the same thing with gimlets and martinis but at least most places have a handle on their ingredients. For whatever reason, most places want to incorporate a whole lot of theater for absinthe though– and that’s not why I order a drink.

        I’ve found few books that offer a lot of recipes specific to the green fairy so I’ll have to look into this. Thanks.

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