I went to Parallax recently with a few new wine friends and ordered up an Absinthe after dinner. Lucid was the brand and it was served in the traditional fashion with slotted spoon, sugar cube and ice water. Now that this infamous concoction is legal in the USA, interesting presentations of Absinthe have popped up on restaurant after dinner lists across the country. At Blue Point in downtown Cleveland they have a special water fountain designed to slowly drip water on the cube of sugar resting on the slotted spoon the server places over your glass of Absinthe.


If you have not given this vivid green, licorice-flavored drink a try – you should. Presented properly, it’s like sippin’ a bit of history. Sought after for its digestive properties, the mystery behind the infamous spirit Absinthe offers an interesting story. Created in late eighteenth century Europe, Absinthe’s key ingredient (wormwood) was thought to have hallucinogenic properties causing a ban on its use in the USA and in Europe. Poets loved the beverage and reported momments of true clarity while under its influence. The real story? If you drink enough of anything it will make you crazy! Happy hours became Green Hours and European drinkers were hitting the Absinthe bottle so hard, outlawing the product was the quickest way to get the party under control.


HOW TO ENJOY ABSINTHE:  Absinthe is usually served up in a wide rimmed glass with a cube of sugar, a slotted spoon and a separate glass of ice water. Place the sugar cube in on the slotted spoon and balance it on the rim of the glass of Absinthe. SLOWLY, drip ice water over the cube of sugar to disolve it into the Absinthe. The sugar balances the bitterness of the Absinthe and the water dilutes the strong flavors. Much like Pastis, quality Absinthe such as Lucid will turn cloudy when the water hits the glass. Crazy.