Not counting St. Patrick's Day, March is pretty much devoid of holidays. But if absinthe maker Lucid has its way, March 5 will henceforth be known as National Absinthe Day. It was on that date in 2007 that the U.S. government finally gave in and made the libation legal here after about a 95-year ban. A rep for Viridian Spirits, owner of Lucid, says the ban was mostly the result of a stigma around absinthe that persisted because too many versions of the drink were made improperly. Actually, the feds' beef was that absinthe usually contained thujone, a potentially toxic compound that, contrary to popular belief, is not a hallucinogen. Viridian worked with a chemist, Ted Breaux, to produce a thujone-free version of the spirit, accomplished by blending grand wormwood, green anise and sweet fennel. Two years on, the brand, which does a bit of advertising, is feting National Absinthe Day with events in New York and Chicago. But a big question remains: Now that absinthe is legal, will it be as much fun to drink?
—Posted by Todd Wasserman