Crime. Social disorder. Chaos.
Absinthe has been blamed for them all. The spirit -- originally made as an herbal tonic -- was once thought to produce medical conditions like epilepsy, and illness like turberculosis, and was eventually banned in countries like Belgium, Brazil, the Netherlands, France -- even the United States.
That was until 2007, when Ted Breaux created Lucid, the first absinthe to be sold stateside since the early 1900s.
Although absinthe is known best for its alleged psychedelic effects -- mostly thanks to the use of grande wormwood, one of three herbs used in the distillation process -- the idea this spirit will make you crazy is just a myth, sorry. While absinthe does have small amounts of the chemical thujone, which may or may not have psychoactive effects, the spirit will probably just make you drunk. You shouldn't be having any trippy hallucinations after a cocktail or two.
But this green-tinged, anise-flavored spirit is a fun, flavorful liquor and can make a devilish drink.
Here are three cocktail recipes -- just in time for Halloween -- that use absinthe:
The Poison Apple
Remember when -- way back when -- kids were warned to stay away from apples (the healthy treat no one wants in their trick-or-treat bag anyways) because a few creeps decided to stick razor blades and rat poison in them? Parents everywhere dumped bags of candy -- and fruit -- in the garbage for fear of tainted treats. This drink reminds us of all those -- and, of course, the creepy witch that poisoned Snow White.
1 oz. LUCID®
2 oz. apple cider
1 oz. cranberry juice
.5 oz. Chambord
Directions: Combine LUCID, apple cider and cranberry juice in a shaker over ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Drop the Chambord to the bottom of the glass. Skewer Granny Smith apple wedge on a pick and lay length wise across the edge of the glass.
The Green Lantern
No, not the movie with Ryan Reynolds in that hot, tight green body suit. Extra points if you have the body to dress like the DC Comic hero for Halloween. If not, you can always just drink one instead. Its bright, neon-lime glow -- compliments of Midori watermelon liqueur -- makes for the perfect Halloween cocktail.
1 oz. Lucid
1 ½ oz. Midori
2-3 muddled limes and long green lime spiral
Directions: In a rocks glass, muddle 3 lime wedges, add ice, Midori and LUCID and transfer to a shaker. Shake thoroughly and return into rocks glass.
Now add the ginger ale and the lime spiral.
Try making this drink at home with the lights out and whip out the black light (yeah, we know you have one, and if not this is the perfect excuse to get one). Why? When you pour the black Sambuca over the rest of the ingredients, the combination of milk and liquor causes a eerily ghoul-like reaction, an eerily slow mixing that looks just like an apparition in a glass. Cheers!
1 part LUCID®
1 part white crème de cacao
1 part coconut milk
Drizzle of Black Sambuca
Directions: Combine Lucid, white crème de cacao and coconut milk in a shaker filled with ice. Shake till frothy and strain into a short rocks glass over ice. Drizzle Black Sambuca down the side of the glass until it floats on the bottom and diffuses through the cocktail.