Herbsaint – a New Orleans invention
After absinthe was made illegal, just before World War I, which was followed by Prohibition, then the Great Depression, then the repeal of Prohibition; finally there was a moment that seemed to be a perfect time for a legal anise-flavored liquor. Up stepped a couple of New Orleans boys, J.M. Legendre and Reginald Parker, who filled the bill nicely, creating Herbsaint right here in the Crescent City in 1934.
Originally called Legendre’s Absinthe, herbsaint never contained the dreaded ingredient wormwood, upon which all of absinthe’s strange sensory effects were blamed. But that didn’t deter the Feds from demanding that the term absinthe be dropped. Having a liquor named Legendre didn’t appeal in a marketing sense, so the duo created an anagram for “absinthe,” adding only an “R”, and that brought them to Herbsaint.
Happy 75th Anniversary to an authentic New Orleans beverage, and the basis for many wonderful cocktails.
As made by Chris Hannah, mixologist, Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
2 ounces Herbsaint
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Muddle sugar cube with Herbsaint in a glass. Stir. Add ice. Fill an Old-Fashioned Glass with crushed ice. Strain Herbsaint and sugar mixture over ice. Add bitters into center and stir.