The Folklore-Filled History of Absinthe

My first encounter with absinthe was in downtown Los Angeles, at a macabre cirque-esque show in a rundown theater, full of faded glamour. The event’s pop-up bar boasted a handful of cocktails, including “Death in the Afternoon,” whose ingredients were …

My first encounter with absinthe was in downtown Los Angeles, at a macabre cirque-esque show in a rundown theater, full of faded glamour. The event’s pop-up bar boasted a handful of cocktails, including “Death in the Afternoon,” whose ingredients were listed as “Champagne, Absinthe, and Ennui,” the latter of which greatly cheered up the goth in me.

I wasn’t ready for how much I loved absinthe. The anise-y, licorice-forward notes were refreshing and livening. They felt at once new and exciting, the opposite of the ornate—yet decaying—theater I was surrounded by, but also full of avant garde artist energy, pushing boundaries. Sordid and salutary all at once. I sensed history in it all.

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