The first legal American absinthe released after the U.S. ban was lifted in 2007, St. George Absinthe Verte shines in this misunderstood category. It doesn’t cause hallucinations or insanity, but the brandy-infused herbal elixir does have an unholy trinity of wormwood, fennel, star anise, and an insane 120-proof kick.
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St. George distills its brandy infusion in a 1,500-liter copper pot still, followed by a secondary infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon balm, hyssop, and stinging nettles. The secondary infusion is what gives absinthe its emerald green color.
By the time the bottle reaches the drinker, the absinthe will have changed from emerald to its characteristic “dead leaf” hue due to chlorophyll from all the botanicals breaking down with time and exposure to light.
To enhance its potent flavors, a large ice cube is ideal and creates a milky cloudiness. Adding water further releases botanical oils, deepening the louche and intensifying the aroma. Contrary to folklore, no additional sugar is needed to make St. George Absinthe Verte palatable, especially in cocktails that call for an anise spirit.