Making Absinthe: Beverage of Poets

Few beverages represent artistic madness like absinthe. In 1859, Édouard Manet’s The Absinthe Drinker shocked that year’s Salon de Paris. Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Émile Zola, Alfred Jarry and Oscar Wilde were all imbibers of “the green fairy.”

Pablo Picasso created his painted bronze sculpture, The Glass of Absinthe, as an homage in 1914. During the Belle Époque, five o’clock was known as the Green Hour in Paris because so many writers and artists filled cafes at that time, sipping their absinthe.

While absinthe has been blamed for for causing psychosis and violence, like any alcohol, the danger comes from over consumption.  In 1915, absinthe was banned in France, Switzerland, the US and most of Europe.

In 2007, absinthe became legal again in the United States, first offered by St. George Spirits. Lance Winters, master distiller and proprietor at St George Spirits, says absinthe is a “tongue-numbing drink” that “sharpens the senses.”

With National Poetry Month as our excuse—like we need an excuse— we are making our own absinthe with a kit from Le Loup Garou Alchemy. Without having an actual distillery at our fingertips, we are infusing vodka with an herbal teabag that contains the wormwood and anise that gives the drink its hallucinogenic properties.

Le Loup Garou Alchemy assures us that while we will experience heightened creativity, we probably won’t see any green fairy.

Still, it’s worth a shot—or two.

You can explore infusing your own absinthe with herbal sachets from Le Loup Garou Alchemy here.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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3 Responses to Making Absinthe: Beverage of Poets

  1. Marge Simon says:

    Wow! Is that legal? Where does one get wormwood, anyway? The Wormwood is Us store? Poets, pay attention! Thanks, Theresa!

    • It’s been legal in the US since 2007. I assume the wormwood would just come from herbal suppliers. It hasn’t been illegal to make absinthe, from my understanding, only to sell it. I’m eager to try it. We are going to create an Exquisite Corpse during the experience to see what fantasy we collaboratively dredge up.

      Here’s a good FAQ from Le Loup Garou:

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