After decades of misinformation and smear campaigns that resulted in absinthe’s being outlawed in the United States since 1915, it was reintroduced to the market in 2007. Slow adoption has since sped up, and these days absinthe can be found in liquor stores and bars across the country. There’s even an American-made product courtesy of Philadelphia Distilling: Vieux Carré Absinthe ($55).
Named for New Orleans’ French Quarter, Vieux Carré is distilled in small batches from the wormwood plant, and the inclusion of star anise, fennel, spearmint and other pants and herbs give it the traditional licorice flavor associated with absinthe. Due to its high proof and strong flavors, absinthe is rarely consumed neat. The customary method for drinking absinthe involves dripping cold water onto a sugar cube, which sits above the glass on a slotted spoon. The sugar and water slowly meld with the absinthe, creating a cloudy mixture ready for drinking. Try this yourself with Vieux Carré and find a resulting product that’s intensely aromatic, slightly sweet, and full of anise, menthol and herbal spice.
For veterans and novices alike, Vieux Carré is a good representation of the spirit, and better still, it’s one of the more affordable absinthes on the market.
Buy Now: $55