With today's absinthe, producers, spearheaded by George Rowley, managing director of La Fee Absinthe Parisienne, have proven to the EU that there is no more than 10 ppm of thujone, which is an acceptable level.
If the water is added in small drops, the essential oils in the absinthe start to come out of solution, and go into suspension.
The reason for that has nothing to do with absinthe's infamous legend - "The Devil in a Bottle," one writer titled his work on the subject - but because of its wallop.
The Swiss Kubler brand absinthe sold at the Sole is 106 proof.
The Siren is made with beehive gin, absinthe, lemon and egg white--a new twist on a sour.
Educators illuminated misconceptions, such as the well-known myth that the wormwood in absinthe causes hallucinations (it doesn't; absinthe's high alcohol content of 50-70 percent is the culprit there).
The tasting was part of a lively presentation by Jeremy Bell of Leominster, a transplanted Scottish comedian and professional toastmaster who specializes in presenting the historical aspects of things "spiritual" - as in whisky and, lately, absinthe. In character as Jerome Cloche, a velvet-suited, top-hatted proprietor of a Paris cafe in the 1880s, Bell presented an engaging history of "The Green Fairy," as absinthe has been called due to its reputed mind-altering capabilities.
We can now add to that illustrious list Thursday night's art museum absinthe samplers, who had varied reactions to the storied drink, except they all agreed on one point: It is incredibly strong.
Absinthe is a storied, legendary, ritualistic drink.
Much of absinthe's allure and eventual demise was attributed to the presence of the purported hallucinogenic wormwood - but its extremely high alcohol content might be the real culprit.
Most of Absinthe's concoctions have been adapted from the prohibition-era, although some, like the Crusta, date back more than one hundred years.
One visit to the spot makes the case for the retro-list, as every stool is taken and every drinker sampling one of Absinthe's signature cocktails.