National Absinthe Day:
Celebrated annually on 5th March, the National Absinthe Day is observed by 21 or older individuals to celebrate the absinthe drink, which is also called the “green fairy.”
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on March 5th:
Why National Absinthe Day?
This day is to celebrate the Bohemian culture with which the drink is believed to be associated with.
Drinks, cocktails, and just plain hard liquor have been a part of World culture for a long time. It was the primary agent in celebrations of festivals, occasions, victories in war and peace. The “green fairy” or Absinthe is believed to have originated in Switzerland in the 18th century. It rose to popularity in the earlier years of the 20th century as the French artists and writers started drinking and writing about it in their works.
Absinthe is a highly alcoholic beverage (45-74% alcohol content) derived from Wormwood along with green anise, sweet fennel, and some brand secret herbs and agents, which are then poured into alcohol through distillation. It has a natural green color (hence “green fairy”). However, this drink is sometimes mistakenly classed as liquor when, in fact, it is classified as a spirit.
Traditionally, Absinthe is served via a process called “louching.” This process requires 1oz (ounce) of Absinthe to be put in a cup. A specially designed spoon is put over the cup, and a sugar cube is placed on it. Then, ice water is slowly dripped (by using an absinthe fountain or carafe) on the sugar cube, resulting in the sugary water dripping down on the absinthe, turning it milky. This traditional preparation is one of the well-known aspects of absinthe.
Absinthe was long banned in the United States of America and some European countries due to its addictive and hallucinogen characteristics. It was blamed for inhibiting bodily processes and causing madness, seizures, and low morality, among other such problems. However, recent studies have conclusively proven that there is nothing hallucinogenic about absinthe.
It contains a heavy neurotoxin in the form of ‘thujone,’ which in high quantities can cause side effects resembling those of seizures or even hallucination, explaining the drink’s reputation. But, since it is high in alcohol content than its counterpart drinks, it is suggested to drink the ‘green lady/fairy’ responsibly.
Absinthe is, in fact, a drink of choice for beginners as it is not hard on their taste buds and usually becomes an instant hit among them. Its taste is often associated with black licorice. However, a more sensitive tongue might pick anise’s trace taste, Melissa, coriander, fennel culminating in a spicy, bold, and sweet sort of taste.
As of now, the market for Absinthe has grown at a staggering rate due to the lifting of the ban on it in 2007 by the USA. There are now three variants of Absinthe as experiments with its color and overall have been made. The three variants are- Green Absinthe (Absinthe Verte), White Absinthe (Absinthe Blanche), and Red Absinthe (Rosinette).
Authentic Absinthe is gluten-free, and the wormwood present has therapeutic uses when taken in trace amounts. It reduces intestinal spasms and increases appetite, treats fevers, liver disease, and memory loss.
How can we observe National Absinthe Day?
- Absinthe all the way:
Utilize this day to have a glass of absinthe in the manner of your choice. You can choose the bohemian serving style or the conventional sugar water drip.
- Educate people on the drink:
If you are a popular figure among your community, educate people about the drink and clear the bad reputation it has gained throughout history. Also, enlighten them about some of its health benefits.
- Show some love:
Make this National day known by posting videos or pictures of your absinthe preparation by using #NationalAbsintheDay #DoNotDrinkAndDrive together.
Interesting facts on National Absinthe Day:
Here are some interesting Absinthe facts for you to enjoy the day:
- It takes its name from the main adjunct flavoring – Artemisia absinthium (grande wormwood).
- Absinthe features in one of Ernest Hemingway’s novel written in the 1940s.
- Wormwood, present in Absinthe, can be lethal when taken in high doses.
- The Old Absinthe House Bar in New Orleans is the World’s most famous absinthe bar as it was frequented by people like Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Frank Sinatra, and many such known names.
- It is extensively produced only in a dozen countries worldwide, involving the likes of France, Spain, and the Czech Republic.
History of National Absinthe Day:
On March 5th is a nod to the re-launch of Pernold Absinthe (a brand created in 1805 in France). Pernold fils Absinthe’s final label became official in 2013, since which the National Absinthe Day is celebrated every year on the said date.