While we here in America think of "Happy Hour" as that time in bars where we can get discounted well-drinks, in French cafes, 5pm is known as l’heure verte, or “the green hour" where green Absinthe (known as "verte") is enjoyed.
Absinthe is a spirit made from a grape distillate macerated with a blend of herbs (licorice, petite wormwood, nettle and more). The green color comes from the nettle. While Absinthe was the drink of choice in France in 1910, it was banned for many decades. In the early 2000's, the absinthe ban was repealed around the world and the green liquid started to flow again.
Absinthe is an elegant, sipping drink, not something to drink to get drunk. It is a relaxing drink that should not be rushed. In fact, Absinthe is an upper and you just can't be angry when you drink it. It is a very pure spirit and one of the healthiest you can drink.
As the 11th Annual Tales of the Cocktail took place this past July, it was my 5th journey to one of the world's largest cocktail festivals. Bringing together industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts from around the world, Tales of the Cocktail is made up of hundreds of events including seminars, tastings, Spirited Dinners, cocktail competitions and parties. There are so many things to do and it's impossible to do everything. Even when trying to pick and chose carefully, schedules fill up fast and no matter how hard we try, we still were running from event to event. Here are the highlights from our 2013 trip.
Day 1:The Perfect Respite by Perfect Purée of Napa Valley - What a perfect way to start the day - with Perfect Puree smoothies, hangover helpers, antioxidant nibbles and massages. We were relaxed and at peace, ready to face the day.
Auchentoshan Whisky & Whiskers - From breakfast, we were whisked away on a Pedi Cab to Aidan Gill for Men for an Auchentoshan dram, a cocktail and a hand massage. Going from one massage to another was definitely a treat but the best part were the Auchie Highballs with Auchentoshan Classic, cucumber soda and RX Auchie bitters.