Today is National Absinthe Day, another booze holiday that kicks off a month known for combining drinking with the color green.
Absinthe, a strong spirit made from wormwood extract, anise, fennel, and other herbs, was banned in the U.S. for most of the 20th century because it contains a small amount of a chemical compound, thujone, that was perceived as dangerous. The regulations on absinthe were recently lifted and now, according to CNN’s Eatocracy, more than 200 brands of absinthe are produced here and in Europe.
Absinthe is also known for being the spirit of choice of the 19th- and early-20th-century European literary sets. Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, and Ernest Hemingway were all known “green fairy” drinkers. If you want to be one, too — at least for a day — consult Absinthe Places’ neat worldwide map of bars and stores where you can grab a drink or a bottle, or head over to two NYC bars known for embracing the spirit — White Star on the Lower East Side and Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg.