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As an artist, sometime farmhand, and all-around hippie, Cheryl Lins had a hard time funding her new-found obsession: absinthe. She discovered the tipple around the same time she decided to downsize her life, but at upwards of $50 for a decent bottle, absinthe is definitely a luxury. And so, Lins decided the only way she could enjoy the spirit at her leisure was to make her own. Back in the summer of ’06, she started making her own absinthe as a hobby and giving bottles of it away to friends. But her friends found that what she was making was good — good enough to buy. Soon, Delaware Phoenix Distillery was born.
“In my life [before discovering absinthe], I was pretty much a non-drinker,” says Lins. “All of a sudden, I got hooked on the green fairy. I love the seductive nature of it.”
Lins has two absinthes, one more traditional and the second more mellow and pretty. Both make use of mostly organic, local, and sustainably-farmed herbs, although the Roman wormwood and anise must be imported. Lins says she isn’t trying to recreate any particular absinthe she’s tasted, but did refer to more traditional recipes when coming up with her own. Walton Waters, the more old-school bottling, has a touch of lemon thyme, giving it a grassier flavor. The other bottling, Meadow of Love, boasts flowery notes due to violet being added to the herb mix. Both are available in select boutiques and bars throughout the state, including Astor Wines and Fort Greene speakeasy The Hideout. Lins likes to drink her absinthe louched (mixed with water, turning the clear emerald liquid to a milky green). And, well, if ever there was a woman who knew what she liked to drink…