Absinthe has been loved, loathed, banned, mourned and, now, reborn. The anise-flavored, high-alcohol (100- to 146-proof) spirit has resumed its popularity, with a dozen countries currently producing 200 brands.
Originating in the 1700s, absinthe became the drink of choice in the next century, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Distilled from anise, fennel and Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) with other herbs and ingredients, absinthe has a natural green color. To drink it in the traditional manner, pour one part absinthe in a glass, put a sugar cube on a slotted spoon, place the spoon over the glass and drip four parts ice-cold water over the spoon.
Few Parisian absinthe drinkers bothered to add water and, eventually, temperance leaders began to blame absinthe for blindness, madness and such legends as the drunk who stripped naked and died doing the polka in the middle of Paris.
By the early 20th century, such drunken behaviors led to bans of absinthe in one country after another. But the decades have exonerated the spirit. The people who overindulged most likely would have had the same problem with vodka, brandy or any other spirit.
Beginning in the late 20th century, absinthe once again became legal.
In 2007, Lucid arrived from France, the first absinthe imported into the United States since 1912. The same year, St. George Absinthe Verte was produced in California, the first absinthe made in this country since 1912. A year later, Vieux Carré became the first absinthe made in the eastern United States, also since 1912.
Vieux Carré is an excellent example of absinthe — a complex bouquet of anise, fennel and other herbs with a crisp lemony snap, a rich taste of anise’s luscious licorice flavors enhanced with fennel and balanced with the other herbs and flowers used to make it. A remarkable absinthe.
For the fan, there are now absinthes from many countries, among them Green Fairy (Czech Republic); La Clandestine (Switzerland); Mata Hari (Austria); and Pernod, Mythe and Le Tourment (France). Prices begin at $50.
And for the truly dedicated fan, Rambler’s Lounge at Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Fla., serves Lucid, the French absinthe, in the traditional manner, along with Hemingway’s favorite, Death in the Afternoon, absinthe and Champagne.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.