Absinthe is a distilled spirit with an anise flavor made with Artemisia absinthium, better known as wormwood. The Green Fairy was enjoyed by many famous Bohemian artists and writers. It was thought to have an addictive psychoactive drug-like quality to the drink. It was outlawed in Canada, the United States and most countries in Europe.
I first drank Absinthe in Spain when I was 13 years old. My Mother took the summer off from her studies and took her daughters on a grand tour of Europe. At the time, Spain was one of the few countries still allowing the drinking of Absinthe. I still remember the rich anise flavor of the drink consumed in an ancient tasting room. Of course, being 13 and drinking isn’t a worry for Europeans.
It was nearly thirty years before my next taste of Absinthe. I was visiting the liquor store to find brandy for cooking pate and I saw a bottle of Absinthe. At first I thought it mustn’t be the real thing. After talking to the resident liquor specialists, I found out that the prohibition of Absinthe was finally over. In fact, there was a distiller called Okanagan Spirits in Vernon, BC making Absinthe. I bought a bottle of Taboo Absinthe.
My sister and I sat down and had a drink. She had hers straight up. I cooled mine on ice until the drink became cloudy. The Absinthe was wonderful. I understand why it won a silver metal in Europe. It is a world class drink.
If you would like to try some Absinthe and learn more about the drink’s history, there will be a tasting in Vernon, BC on August 13, 2009.
Updated April 21, 2010: Okanagan Spirits has done it again. They entered eleven products in the World Spirit Competition in Klagenfurt, Austria. They won five Gold and six Silver medals and are now recognized as a Master Class Distillery. Okanagan Spirits has introduced a new Sour Cherry and Wild Huckleberry liqueur, both won Gold in the competition:
The Cherry liqueur is made with locally sourced sour cherries and if current sales continue, it could become our most popular liqueur. Not sickly sweet like many liqueurs but with a true emphasis on the Sour Cherry taste. Its fantastic. Delicious Wild Huckleberries sourced from Grand Forks British Columbia, are used to make this liqueur. With so much fruit required for a small return in liqueur, you will need to act fast to secure yourself a bottle of this award winner.