The Mixologist: Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

absintheThe word “mixologist”, the trendy name for the now passé “bartender,” has a certain ring to it - it sounds like a form of wizardry with vials of colorful, infused liquids being poured into other vials of colorful, infused liquids with effervescent bubbles and smoke dancing on the surfaces of mysterious concoctions. In fact, that’s what a mixologist conjures up with fresh juices, fine spirits, spices, elixirs and garnishes. And like wizards, mixologists have their trade secrets.

Drinking cocktails today in the South does not mean sitting around sipping Sazeracs, a whiskey cocktail with a dash of absinthe…or does it? Classic cocktails are making a sweeping comeback. Said to have originated in the late 1700s, the Sazerac became the official cocktail of New Orleans in 2008. Absinthe, a light green spirit often referred to as “The Green Fairy,” was considered to contain psychoactive properties, which led to it being banned in the early 1900s in many countries. Legend had it that a side effect of drinking absinthe brought on visions of green fairies frolicking about in the air. A French doctor who was living in Switzerland is credited with creating the spirit, although like all great inventions, there are disputes about the exact details of the evolution of absinthe, which was originally sold as a medical elixir, like Coca-Cola originally was in Atlanta. A spirit like absinthe always sparks conversation around the cocktail. And hearing the little green fairies giggling in the air adds to the fun! 

Delicious Recipes from Lowcountry

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