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With French chefs taking back the kitchens, perhaps it is only fitting that absinthe, the Fée Verte

(Green Fairy) of late 19th and early 20th century French writers like Paul Verlaine, and painters like
Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec, should also be making a strong comeback in the United States. In fact,
when Edgar Degas painted 'The Absinthe Drinkers' in 1876, the dour countenances (and blank stares)
of his subjects perhaps foretold the ultimate banning of absinthe in many countries, including France
(until 1988). Now that Absinthe is legal in the US, it is time to revive the tradition of Degas and others,
and perhaps dispel a few myths. Is wormwood, the herb in Absinthe that supposedly drove drinkers
crazy, really hallucinogenic? According to Ted Breaux, founder of two-year-old Lucid Absinthe, that
claim is “highly exaggerated. It's a medicinal herb whose properties have been known since antiquity.”
The problem, according to Breaux, was not the wormwood, but the disgusting and semi-poisonous
knockoffs of real absinthe, that transformed sane people into sick degenerates. But the mystery and
romance of real absinthe lingers on. “You can appreciate absinthe today just like it was appreciated
100 or more years ago,” says Breaux. “We distill it in the same way, the same pure herbs are added
before and after distillation, to give it its naturally mellow green hue. We're even using a 130 year-old
copper absinthe still.” So when you are asked today what you would like to imbibe, remember that,
like French chefs and their cookery, what once was old, is new again. And this time, it's green.