Libations

We carry a fine selection o’ libations, but specialize in Rum & Absinthe; some ye will not find elsewhere!

Absinthe

AbsintheDue to the French influence on the Crescent City, Absinthe achieved a wide popularity in New Orleans. It was consumed by people from artists and musicians to Storyville Madams.

Around the turn of the twentieth century, there was observed a subset of alcoholism referred to as “absinthism”. It’s effects, despite popular conception, are not due to the Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthum) alone, but to various herbs, most of which contribute in one way or another to its intoxicating effects.

By 1912, in New Orleans, as well as in the rest of the United States, Absinthe was banned; being classified with opiates, cocaine, and marijuana because of it’s unique intoxicating qualities. Later years the USDA and FDA regulations also ban the sale or importation of any beverage containing Wormwood. This law was finally repealed in 2007, allowing once again the importation of traditional Absinthe recipes!

Due to the long ban, many formulas using anise and other legal herbs appeared in modern commercial Absinthe. In New Orleans, one of the most popular is Herbsaint, a locally-made anise liquor, used in both cooking & cocktails, like the superb Sazerac. For a time, during the ban, the very popular French brand, “Absente”, was forced to change their formula for importation by replacing the Wormwood with Southernwood (Artemisia Abrotanum). The European formula was never altered, and was the first imported into the US after the ban.