Absinthe, a drink that was banned in the US in 1912 and in Europe by 1915, will once again be available in it original formula from the 1800s. The US lifted the ban in 2007.
According to Pernod-Ricard, Pernod Absinthe was the aperitif of choice in France in the 19th century especially for the painters, writers and philosophers that made up the creative community. By the middle of the 19th century, the hour before dusk was the time to enjoy a glass of Pernod Absinthe with friends. It became such a ritual that it was popularly called “The Green Hour”.
The trend crossed the Atlantic and Pernod Absinthe cocktails had ghoulish but amusing names like Corpse Reviver #2 and Death in the Afternoon.
The aperitif was so popular that the French wine lobby took note and started a very drastic smear campaign against Absinthe that was amazingly successful. Although the claims were false, the lore became fact and Absinthe was banned by 1915. In 2007, the FDA ruled that Absinthe was safe for human consumption and always had been.
The reformulated recipe uses a neutral wine spirit instead of a neutral grain spirit. The wormwood, a key element in absinthe, will be cultivated in Pontarlier, France, the location of the original Pernod Absinthe factory founded in 1805. And the green color will come from maceration of green nettles instead of artificial coloring. Product is being rolled out nationally during October.