Only tormented souls, artists and risk takers dared to drink the green elixir called Absinthe.
It was deemed to cause hallucinations either to catapult ones creativity into the next world or bring them to deaths door.
We all have heard of the myths behind absinthe of addiction, which leads to wild death defying acts.
Call me a tormented risk-taking artist, but I love Absinth.
The pretty liquid ranges from almost clear to an aquamarine, mouthwash blue and extra virgin olive oil green. Just like whiskey, there are all types and flavor profiles to suite almost any palate.
Typically absinth was served in a glass with water slowly dripping into it from above while landing on a sugar cube first, creating simple syrup.
Forgo the sugar and just add water. Now absinth is very well made and refined and doesn’t really need the added sweetness.
As water is added to absinthe, it is like a chemistry lab experiment. The green turns into an opaque opal and the liquid is more viscous, creating even more allure and mysticism
It had been a while since I took part in the “green fairy” but not too long ago, I had the treat of a slow afternoon at the Drum Room.
The aroma permeated of soft floral notes with a fennel back note and a spice in the middle for balance.
As the serum passed through my lips, they tingled with delight. The anise showed through and slight hints of medicinal herbs like chamomile and marshmallow root. Letting it rest on my tongue, I took a deep breath and there was the complete picture — sweet, bitter, floral all while tap dancing on my taste buds.
It is the most delightful beverage to delicately sip. It sends me back to a time the movies have glorified, in the mid 1800s. When flavors where new, revolutions were happening and people dressed to the nines.
All from one sip.
After being banned from the U.S. since 1915, it came back even better in 2007. The spirit is made with a myriad of herbs and botanicals, but it gets its signature flavor of licorice from anise, fennel wormwood and Artemisia absinthium.
People pointed their finger at the wormwood for causing mind-bending hallucinations because it has small amounts of thujone.
It’s actually not the case any more. Plain and simple, Absinthe is high in alcohol, and should be respected as such.
The best Absinthe in Kansas City is in two places, The Drum Room and Grunauer.
Both serve St. George Absinthe Verte from the U.S. At the Drum Room I was romanced into six-month-barrel-aged St. George. It was simply made into a slushy with crushed ice and a bit of simple syrup. But the aging concentrated the anise flavor and gave it more earthiness and mellowed the bitterness to a delightful treat I could have taken hours to enjoy.
Grunauer has a similar style of service but not with barrel-aged absinthe or it is available the traditional way by just adding water.
Unleash your inner tormented artist soul or tend to the risk taker you have always been, and try a bit of Absinthe.
Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.