What better way to celebrate the day created for one of the most highly alcoholic beverages that to go back to the bootlegging days and make your own? Banned in the U.S in 1912 because of its hallucinogenic stigma, Absinthe, got its name from Artemisia absinthium, the scientific name for it’s key ingredient, wormwood. Long before distillers, or those people who make alcohol, discovered it, the herb was used for medicinal purposes. Medical or magical, the controversial alcohol became legal once again just a few years ago and now, in true American fashion, we celebrate its existence!
Here are your 7 simple steps to getting that green fairy magical taste:
To start, you’ll need to gather the basics, depending on your definition of basics…Think gathering ingredients for a witches’ brew perhaps.You can get the ingredients in-store or online like Bootlegbotanicals.com, specifically their Absinthe blend kit containing 11 organic herbs, spices and whatever else gives the fairy its magical green hue.
Alcohol is NOT included so be sure to pick up a nice hard spirit, like Everclear, just make sure whatever it is it’s 150 proof or more. The list of signature spices are as follows: Anise Star Pod, Anise seed, Fennel, Licorice root, Roman wormwood, Lemon peel, Hyssop, Angelica root, Coriander, Melissa & Grand Wormwood.
Put two cups of the base spirit in an airtight container. If you have a 190 proof base spirit like Everclear, add two ounces of water to slightly dilute. Use a funnel, or risk soaking yourself in ethanol.
Now you’re ready to add the first set of botanicals, a mixture of Anise Star Pod, Anise seed, Fennel, Licorice root, Lemon peel, Angelica root, and Coriander. If you don’t have the kit, make sure to use a mortar and pestle to crush them into small pieces.
Then you shake it. Sha, sha, sha, shake it like a Polaroid picture. Then comes the wait. You should give it about 8-10 hours to marinate. Perhaps starting the project before a long winters nap, or bedtime, is ideal.
Next, add the wormwood. Historically this is the ingredient that causes incest-inducing hallucinations, but there’s still a lot of debate about the psychedelic potency of wormwood. Either way, you’ll want to add about two teaspoons of Grand wormwood into your mixture. It can have a very bitter taste, so Bootleg suggests steeping it in a tea bag for no more than three hours. Give it another shake for good measure.
Then, double back on that winter’s nap. By this point, your absinthe will look a little more like dirty creek water than a magically inviting potion, so patience is important. After another 10-12 hours you’ll add the rest of your herbs (Hyssop and Melissa & Roman Wormwood), which are responsible for the green color.
Guess what you do next? Correct! Nighty night. Time to wait another 5 hours.
Filter the fairy. You can either use a coffee filter or a strainer. But either way, you’ll need to cleanse your liquor of the pond scum look to reveal a green hued beauty. Like Cinderella’s pumpkin turning into a glowing chariot!
*** It won’t be neon Gatorade green, more like an earthy dark moss, and then you have succeeded!
When you’re done, store your absinthe in a dark bottle to prevent light from spoiling it.
The taste will be vaguely like licorice and singe-your-throat strong. Feel the burn, and let the weekend commence!
Recipe and image from: The Thrillist