Absente is technically classified as a Verte. Verte (“green” in French) absinthe begins as a blanche (“white” in French). The distillate is altered by a coloring step whereby a mixture of herbs comes in contact with the clear distillate. This process intensifies the herbal flavor and imparts an emerald green hue from the chlorophyll in the herbs. This coloration step is a technique created and mastered by the French.
Drinking absinthe was a ubiquitous custom in 19th century Paris, highly favored by the artistic and literary elite. Bohemian artists such as Picasso, van Gogh, Rimbaud, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Oscar Wilde immortalized absinthe; and writers such as Baudelaire and Hemingway gave absinthe credit for their inspiration. That’s quite a drink!
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