Category Archives: Green Fairy

Absinth Returns



The modern day renaissance in asbinthe drinking in fact started in the Czech Republic, and the new worldwide popularity can be traced back to a gentleman called Ing. Boháče from Slavonice. One bottle was made for his Besídka Hotel by Radomil Hill, whose family had originally produced absinthe during the high times of The First Republic in the 1920s. The Green Fairy –Zelena Muza – in the absinthe bottle made her first reappearance on the world stage in a beautiful Southern Bohemian town. By chance a theater group Divadlo Sklep -who were involved with the hotel – spotted the absinthe bottle and asked for some, the Green Fairy spread her wings and headed to Prague with that lucky band of actors.




Why would someone ask for absinth? It is actually well known! One only has to look around former Hapsburg Europe for other examples of this homemade thujone rich drink. For example Polish Piołunówka; this brew is named after piołun” which is the Polish word for wormwood; the French word for wormwood is absinthe. Piołunówka is made by macerating wormwood and other herbs in alcohol and not by distilling; it is claimed that this helps the wormwood, and it’s constituent thujone,  to survive in a much more potent form. Then of course there’s Pelinovak from the former countries of Yugoslavia



Green Fairy banned in 1923

Weimar Absinth

Following on from our discussion about absinth at the 1932 Olympics, it does seem that the Green Fairy got her marching orders from the Weimar Republic in 1923. The year 1923 was the year of hyper inflation with one trillion marks being needed to buy one dollar! It seems that at about the same time production began to be stepped up in the Czech lands in places like Brušperku u Ostravy.

The flame licking around the sugar conjures up images of dark back rooms and secret chemist’s concoctions,of the Val-de-Travers in Switzerland, where the first absinthe distillery was opened in 1797, and of paintings by famous artists. For instance, Pablo Picasso’s absinthe drinker, who sits slumped next to a shimmering absinthe glass and dreams of distant

Artists and writers like Oscar Wilde, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe and Edvard Munch also paid homage to the green fairy, and said they believed that they owed her their visions and inspiration.

But the strong side effects led to absinthe being banned in one country after another — 1910 in Switzerland, 1914 in France and 1923 in Germany. Absinthe regained its legality only a few years ago, through the European Union’s Aroma Directive of 1998, which permits the production of absinthe with a maximum thujone content of 10 milligrams per liter, thus marking the renaissance of the green fairy. Ironically, it is still prohibited in Switzerland, the country where it originated.

In Germany, bars offering absinthe have opened in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Frankfurt.

German absinthe merchant Sven Baumgartner has been selling the Czech Hills Absinthe in Germany since January 2000. After a slow start, he says, demand by specialist wholesalers and individual customers had been growing steadily. “Absinthe has now become an obligatory item in every good bar,” Mr. Baumgartner says.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2001)

Absinthe Green Fairy Weed


“were goats consuming hallucinogenic plants? Not likely, Barrie said. “I don’t think the goats ate it,”

Absinthe, ingredient of banned, supposedly hallucinogenic liquor, spreading through town. Absinthe wormwood, a noxious weed, is running rampant in Vail. The town has hired a contractor to spray the weeds later this summer. Hemingway and Rimbaud wrote about it. Picasso and Degas painted it. They all drank it.

It is absinthe, a type of liquor that is banned in the U.S. because it supposedly makes its drinkers hallucinate.

The ban — as well as bohemians’ affinity for the drink — has given absinthe, nicknamed the “green fairy,” a certain mystique. So it might be a surprise to some that absinthe is literally spreading like a weed in Vail. The absinthe wormwood plant has become an annoying noxious weed for the town, which is stepping up efforts to get rid of it.

Absinthe facts

• Scientific name of the plant is artemisia absinthium.

• Alcohol content of the liquor is usually between 60 and 75 percent.

• Russian word for wormwood is chernobyl.

• Supposedly first distilled around 1792 by a French doctor living in Switzerland.

• A new brand of absinthe, called Lucid, is now being sold in the U.S.

“We sure do have it in the town of Vail, and we have a lot of it,” said Gregg Barrie, who directs the town’s weed program.

The town just discovered it last year because it looks so much like sagebrush, which is a native plant. There’s a lot of absinthe along the bike paths and the frontage roads in Vail, Barrie said.

“It looks a lot like sage,” said Stephen Elzinga, the county’s weed coordinator. “Up until about three or four years ago, I didn’t even know what it was. I just thought, ‘It’s sage, la, la, la, I’m a happy guy.’”

The powerful liquor made from the absinthe wormwood weed has had a cult following among writers and artists, but banned in the United States.

Miners’ indulgence?

It’s not clear how absinthe wormwood got to Vail. One theory is that hard-drinking miners brought it here to make the liquor, Elzinga said. The Gore Creek Valley’s limited mining history might quash that theory, though. Another theory is that it was brought here as a decorative plant, Elzinga said.

Mickey Werner, managing partner of Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail, had no idea that absinthe grows in Vail. Of course, he’s not legally permitted to sell absinthe, but he does sell Absente, a 110-proof liquor marketed as “absinthe refined.” Absente uses a wormwood plant that has less thujone, which is considered the hallucinogenic ingredient.

“We sell quite a bit of it,” Werner said. “We happen to have some locals — I don’t know if they’re seasonals or locals — who just have a taste for it.” The liquor tastes like black licorice or fennel, Werner said. It’s pretty good,” he said.

Vail has hired a company that’s going to spray weeds, including the wormwood, later this month. Noxious weeds like absinthe can push out native plants, Barrie said.

In previous years, Vail has brought a herd of goats to town to eat weeds. They won’t return this year. But were goats consuming hallucinogenic plants? Not likely, Barrie said. “I don’t think the goats ate it,” he said. “I don’t know if we have an absinthe problems where we had the goats.”

Perhaps Vail can make this a win-win situation by harvesting the plants to distill liquor for its lively Bridge Street bar scene.

“I actually quit drinking about five or six years ago, so I don’t need any,” Elzinga said.

Source: Vail Daily




Absinthe House

Fee Verte

Here is an interesting development, according to the venerable Old Absinthe House in New Orleans, Jack the Ripper was an absintheur!

As it turns out, Absinthe was indeed a dangerous substance, as the wormwood used for making it had narcotic properties. The consumption of Absinthe was associated with hallucinations, delirium, madness and even death. It is further rumored that Jack the Ripper, an unknown killer of a number of prostitutes in 1888, went mad through his addiction of Absinthe. Consequently, it was outlawed in the United States in 1912.

The Absinthe House Frappe

Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice add:
1 1/4 ounce of Absinthe
1/4 ounce of Anisette
top with a splash of soda water

The Old Absinthe House
240 Bourbon Street
New Orleans