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Absinthe, a.k.a. the green fairy
photo: brianjmatis on Flickr

At one point absinthe was so popular in France that happy hour was actually called “l’heure verte,” or the green hour. The spirit, so beloved amongst poets and artists for its supposedly hallucinogenic qualities, was banned for much of the mid to latter 20th century throughout the world, and only was legalized again in the US in 2007. Its anise flavor and high alcohol content makes it an acquired taste to be sure, but smart bartenders and amateur mixologists have learned to use absinthe as a rinse.

In this Absinthe Sazerac cocktail, the licorice-like essence of the absinthe plays off the smokiness of cognac and the sweetness of simple syrup for a powerful yet elegant cocktail.