Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Not Easy Being a Green Liqueur

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Not Easy Being a Green Liqueur

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA CAPITANO

Morton's Steakhouse is going retro with its quarterly cocktail tasting tonight. Like, 1800s retro. Morton's is pairing with Pernod absinthe to host The Green Hour, giving cocktail enthusiasts a chance to satiate their inner Edgar Allan Poes.

If you're unfamiliar with absinthe, the herbal liqueur is sort of the Jager Bomb (Jagermeister plus Red Bull) of the 19th century: popular, party-starting and revered by cultural jet setters (Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Oscar Wilde to name a few) for its inspiring effects.

So powerful was the intoxicant, it was banned from sale in the U.S. in 1905. Thujone, an element in the wormwood used to distill absinthe, became the scapegoat for the ban, as it was said to induce hallucinations. I say scapegoat because nowhere in my review of the literature did anyone blame the liqueur's astounding alcohol content, generally between 60 percent and 78 percent, for crazed absinthe highs. It's like blaming the taurine in the Jager Bomb for the ensuing debauchery.

Fast-forward to modern times when scientists decided to prove the traces of thujone in absinthe are way too miniscule to adversely affect drinkers. The U.S. ban was lifted in 2007, thanks to the scientific review and a rising cocktail culture that demanded the liqueur be reviewed in the first place, said Brian Eckert, Brand Manger for Pernod Ricard USA.

Guests of The Green Hour will be able to test four different preparations of Pernod's 138-proof, anise-tasting liqueur. The two fruity offerings include a Monkey Gland (gin, absinthe, orange juice and grenadine) and Le Deuce, a take on an absinthe drink credited to Ernest Hemingway: "Death in the Afternoon." Morton's adds vodka and raspberry puree to Hemingway's absinthe and champagne formula.

Also on the docket, the Sazerac, where you simply rinse the rocks glass with absinthe, and then add whiskey, bitters and sugar. …

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