For the first time in almost a century, a new brand of absinthe made with real grande wormwood is legally available in the United States. It’s called Lucid, and according to its website (which uses somber piano music to put potential customers in a boozy mood), it’s only available in a few bars and liquor stores in New York. For the rest of the country, you can preorder a bottle for $59.99 at DrinkUpNY, where free express shipping is being offered—as soon as the site restocks its Lucid supply in late July.
Historically, absinthe has inspired bohemian artists from Pablo Picasso to Edgar Degas to, um, this guy—but is this newfangled absinthe, developed by New Orleans–based chemist Ted Breaux, worth its decidedly unboho price tag? Well, according to Nick Fauchald at Food & Wine’s Mouthing Off blog:
[I]t’s less anise-heavy and more herbal than other ‘genuine’ European absinthes I’ve tried. Cocktails will benefit from this restrained style.
Once you get a bottle, you’ll want to check out this recipe for the Absinthe Drip and get some gear to accompany the now-legal beverage. But for some absinthe-lovers, the legalized stuff isn’t nearly as satisfying as the contraband. One anonymous commenter on the Bottle Gang always enjoyed smuggling bottles back from European duty-free shops, but thanks to Lucid, the thrill is gone:
The [legalization] of this spirit will take away [its] appeal. So—it’s on to Cuban Rum for me! This stuff is amazing!