Even though it’s the 21st century, asking a bartender for absinthe usually results in an eyebrow-raise. Known for its mysterious quality, the high-volume spirit la fée verte, aka “the green fairy,” still carries a rep from prohibition times for being the drink of crazies. Nowadays, the tinted liquor still keeps everyone raving, and for local distillery KGB—that’s a good thing.
Their Brimstone Absinthe, the small batch heirloom spirits handcraft out of Alcalde, NM is making its mark on epicureans internationally, most recently garnering a double gold award from guide TheFiftyBest.com.
With deep undertones of anise, herbs, botanicals, fennel and of course the infamous wormwood, Brimstone has the backbone of what makes absinthe absinthe; a trifecta of bitter and sweet that melds into a twinge of illicit coloring just weird enough to keep it interesting.
Only recently legalized in the United States in 2007, the
spirit once smuggled from Eastern Europe was once banned for inspiring effects
something like a liquefied hallucinogenic. However, these days, sorry young
Dali’s, the KGB batch of the favored afternoon drink of the artist is much,
much more tame than that of the 1920’s, nowadays craft with a proof of 45
percent ABV (90 proof). Earlier this year, the distillery's absinthe earned top honors at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Distilled by classically trained chef Steven Jarrett, cautious connoisseurs need not be master mixologists to imbibe; the herbal flavors of absinthe make it a perfect to serve solo. “I think that our absinthe is very lovely on it’s own,” suggests Operations Manager Caitlin Richards.
For a festive occasion, KGB.com suggests sweetening the shimmering
liquid with a tequila or orange liqueur.
Santa Feans in search of a sample can head to Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits (1005 S St Francis Ste 101) this Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 pm for a Public Tasting that features an array of cocktails created with KGB Spirits.