Having no special connections in the spirits industry, I’ve been waiting
patiently to get my bottle of Lucid absinthe for several months. The first true absinthe to reach the U.S. market since the drink was banned nearly 100 years ago, Lucid has caused quite a stir in the spirits world. But so far it’s only distributed in New York and New Jersey. And according to the friendly folks at John Walker Co., who I went and pestered recently, it won’t be available for another month or more. They did let slip, however, that St. George Spirits is about to release an absinthe of their own - did I hear that right?! Reason to check back next month, but not good enough right now.
After a little sleuthing online, I discovered that Drink Up NY not only carried Lucid, but it was $5 off, and they offer free shipping on all orders of $50 or more. Done. My bottle was delivered to the office yesterday, and Andy and I cracked it open for a tasting last night.
I haven’t tried any of the absinthes available on the international market, but for what it’s worth, I was impressed by the crispness, balance, and complexity of Lucid’s flavors. Though it is not as thick or rich looking as some of the varieties I’ve seen pictured online, it has a pleasant, silky mouthfeel and an excellent aftertaste. Even as other quality absinthes arrive on the market, the accessibly and reasonable price of Lucid will probably make it my default absinthe for cocktails.
How to Drink Absinthe
Absinthe should be prepared very slowly. Though you can omit the sugar, and even the water, this is the most traditional method and brings out the flavors beautifully.
1. Pour 1-1.5 ounces absinthe into a glass. Rest an absinthe spoon - or a common kitchen fork :) - on the rim of the glass and place a sugar cube on top.
2. Very slowly, drip ice cold water over the sugar cube until it dissolves. You may need to continue adding water until you’ve reached a ratio somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1 of water to absinthe.
3. As the sugar dissolves and the water drips into the absinthe, observe the liquid as it begins to grow cloudy. Eventually the whole drink will be opaque.
4. Stir a few times with the spoon and enjoy.