Mar 5, 2024 - Food and Drink

How to celebrate National Absinthe Day in New Orleans

Women wearing dark green Renaissance-themed costumes and wigs lit up with green lights smile and pose for a photo.

Revelers march in the absinthe-inspired Krewe Boheme during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans in 2024. Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

New Orleans has long loved its absinthe.

Why it matters: March 5 is National Absinthe Day, so we're toasting to the storied spirit.

The big picture: Anise-flavored and full of history, absinthe became synonymous in the late 19th century with bohemian lifestyles.

  • Creatives like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde were known to enjoy a glass, and it became fairly easy to find in the French Quarter.
  • But that enjoyment was perhaps a bit too much for some, and European and American governments banned the beverage for decades.
  • Those policies have changed in recent years, though limitations on the inclusion of a wormwood derivative, which has been erroneously thought to cause seizures, remain.

To celebrate National Absinthe Day in New Orleans, you could:

  • Get an absinthe frappe at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street.
  • Sip on a Sazerac, which includes in its ingredients Herbsaint. The spirit was invented in New Orleans as an absinthe alternative.
  • Learn about absinthe at a special event Tuesday night featuring an absinthe drip demonstration (and drinks, of course) at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Tickets are $12. (Details.)
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