What's Absinthe?

What’s Absinthe? That’s a question I heard from several people at the Liquor Depot in Avon, CT this past weekend. I was there for a special Valentine’s Day Absinthe Mata Hari tasting and, for many guests, it was their first experience with Absinthe.

When you spend your day reading cocktail blogs, it’s hard to imagine anyone hasn’t heard about Absinthe, but there are still so many people who either don’t know anything about it or are filled with misinformation about the category. Some people I spoke to still believed it was illegal in the U.S. or it would make them go crazy and cut their ear off. Even more were hearing about Absinthe for the first time and wanted me to compare it to something they had already tried.

That’s a tough task to tackle. To what can you compare Absinthe? Pastis, Sambuca, or Anisette liqueurs? No, Absinthe, especially bohemian style, is definitively and fundamentally different from anything else out there. Just try it yourself and see!

We got a great response, both from guests who tried Mata Hari in the traditional drip and in a Bohemian Baybreeze.

Bohemian Baybreeze:

1 ½ oz. Absinthe Mata Hari
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Cranberry Juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into an old fashioned glass.

Many first-timers caught the bug and wanted to learn more about Absinthe’s fascinating history. We might have some work to do to further spread the word about Absinthe, but I think it’s safe to say that Mata Hari has begun to steal hearts, even in our country’s smallest corners. Thanks to everyone who came out for the tasting! Cheers!

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