Absinthe has long been the drink of choice for artists, poets, writers and painters so its being awarded a day is fitting.
Yet the Green Fairy was banned in many countries after a moral panic caused the belief that it was absinthe, rather than alcoholism or syphilis, that was sending both Bohemians and ordinary working folk mad. It is precisely this ban that makes today Absinthe Day, for it was on this day in 2007, that absinthe went back on legal sale in the USA since its 1912 ban.
And what better way to celebrate Absinthe Day than with a cocktail created by a true Bohemian, absinthe fan and one of the world's most influential bartenders, Dick Bradsell. Indeed, in December 1998, in an upstairs room at London's Groucho Club, when George Rowley launched the first absinthe to be sold in Britain since the First World War, it was Dick who was not only mixing long-forgotten cocktails but was also reassuring the assembled journalists and drinks writers that this supposedly banned spirit was safe to drink. I'm proud to have been there to recount the story.
Dick made many drinks using absinthe, most notably these four:
- Green Fairy (1990s) with: absinthe, lemon juice, sugar syrup, bitters and egg white.
- Hammer of the Gods (late 1990s) a layered shot with: absinthe and Tuaca liqueur.
- Tripe A
(2010) with: Absinthe, apple juice, orgeat and lime juice.
- Fairy Cream
(2010) with: absinthe, cream, dark crème de cacao and white crème de cacao.
Absinthe is so aromatic and flavoursome that often a mere dash is enough for a cocktail but these 20 best Absinthe cocktails are proof that it also works well as a base spirit.
It's also St Piran's Day
Celebrate Cornwall's national holiday with us today as we commemorate Piran, the patron saint of tin-miners (due to his alleged discovery of tin and smelting!)
Piran was supposedly exiled from Ireland and was thrown into the sea attached to a millstone. He survived though and was washed up on Perranporth Beach, where he began to build a Christian oratory. Apparently, his first disciples were a badger, a fox and a bear!
Piran was fond of a drink or two - hence the phrase "drunk as a Perraner." Despite his penchant for alcohol, the saint supposedly lived to 206...encouraging news for all of us here at Difford's Guide.
In celebrating Piran and the beautiful English county that is Cornwall, with a Cornwall Negroni, created by Philip Ward in another faraway Cornwall, while he was one of the many disciples of another man worthy of celebration.