Educators illuminated misconceptions, such as the well-known myth that the wormwood in absinthe causes hallucinations (it doesn't; absinthe's high alcohol content of 50-70 percent is the culprit there).
I wanted to do absinthe for several reasons," says Amy Eldredge, assistant manager at Under Current Club.
After the legalization of absinthe two years ago, countless new and old-recipes for the anise spirit have launched and relaunched.
So many classics contain absinthe, including what is considered America's first cocktail, the Sazerac, but beyond that, it is leading to experimentation and nouveau cocktails.
An SRO crowd of about 150 people got a chance to lift their spirits at the Worcester Art Museum Thursday night with a taste of absinthe, a recently legalized green-tinged drink that inspired writers and artists for centuries.
In character as Jerome Cloche, a velvet-suited, top-hatted proprietor of a Paris cafe in the 1880s, Bell presented an engaging history of "The Green Fairy," as absinthe has been called due to its reputed mind-altering capabilities.
An additional seven absinthes are expected to launch in the next few months.
There's so much interest in it and its history; there's a lot of education needed on absinthe, which is actually a great opportunity for bartenders.
Most absinthes offer 70 to 80 percent alcohol, and its name swirls through the excesses of the bohemian art world during the late 1800s - associating with names like van Gogh, Wilde, Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Poe.
But true notoriety for these intensely flavored alcoholic anise drinks really began in the 1800s, when anise-based spirits took the form of absinthe.
Much like the authentic absinthes
of the Belle Epoque Era, Grande Absente is 138 proof and 69 percent alcohol by volume.
It turns out that most retailers are putting absinthes
on the cordials shelf, regardless of their proof level.
are distilled, the Czech or Bohemian varieties being a major exception.
From behind his bar, which is chock full of with a variety of bitters, specialty liqueurs, absinthes
produced in France and eastern Europe, eau-de-vies and absinthe
-like creations from California's Domaine Charbay and others, Dionysus gets to play with ingredients most other bars don't even carry.
As for absinthe
, Driscoll said it should continue to grow.