Green alcohol? You mean we have finally discovered an elusive type of booze that transforms us all into The Hulk?! Unfortunately not. But, it is one of those lesser-known colored spirits in the market that's gaining popularity among bartenders and mixologists alike. So let’s dive deeper to understand what exactly green alcohol is!
A Brief Overview
What comes to mind when you hear about drinking a color or a fruit flavor such as strawberry margaritas, melon punch, or blue curacao shots? Did your mouth start watering already - without you even realizing it? That was just me then?
Green alcohol falls under the same category as those brightly hued and flamboyant cocktails, causing quite a stir aesthetically. In simpler words: It’s another colorful spirit added to our repertoire!
Contrary to popular belief (and my own), green alcohol isn't some exotic ingredient from South America or Africa that's recently surfaced on social media platforms like TikTok or Pinterest - although I wouldn’t rule out its possible trending phase soon enough.
An Elusive Ingredient
So, what exactly IS green alcohol made of? Shall we ask Google so she can whisper sweet nothings in our ears with her infinite knowledge base while we sip something boozy?
There are several types of green-colored liqueurs available in the world today. Some examples include Absinthe and Midori.
If history fascinates you along with crafting magic concoctions at home for others to enjoy (who doesn’t!), then pay attention closely.
Absinthe refers to a highly alcoholic spirit made from wormwood plant extracts and other herbs like fennel seeds & aniseed oil etc. Wormwood extract contains thujone - chemists refer this substance as “bicyclic ketone” (does it sound as cool to you as it does to me?). Thujone was what triggered the ban of absinthe in several countries. During those unfortunate times, Absinthe became synonymous with “dangerous alcohol”.
Although its reputation has since improved and continues to develop a mystique around it, the concentration level of thujone still remains monitored across all variations.
So how do we Use Absinthe?
Traditionally served by pouring ice-cold water over a sugar cube onto an upturned perforated spoon placed on top. This is called the ‘drip method’, creating louched effect that looks smooth like silk flowing through glassware accompanied by sweet notes of almond oil from the absinthe mixtion.
Let’s take our exploring one step further - this time Japanese-style. Welcome 'Midori'! Midori literally translates into ‘green’ in Japanese and refers to a fruity melon-flavored liqueur made using muskmelons grown exclusively in Japan.
The bright green color comes from not only the taste but also adding dye-substances such as chlorophyll or yellow coloring derived from gardenia flowers etc., providing assurance even more here than usual that "yes, what you're drinking is indeed GREEN".
Fun Fact Time!
Muskmelon cultivation began way back during ancient Edo period Japan (1603 – 1868) whereby farmers gently rubbed their melons using linen cloth twice daily- making these fruits softer yet firmer until they reached peak ripeness levels providing juicy goodness for your tasting pleasure while keeping intact unique aroma + natural sweetness exclusive inside each fruit during growth!
Nowadays though, no-such-massages-required when preparing for manufacturing mid- so don't worry about massaging any real plant right before you consume some experimental bartending mixes late at night deciding whether or not Facebook needs to know.
Right then - where were we? Ah yes, how/why are people mixing it in their drinks instead of juicing the melons smashingly for a whole afternoon (and failing).
Both Absinthe and Midori offer an exciting range of tasting possibilities in cocktails when combined or mixed with other alcohols. Although both provide “green” aesthetics to our glasses; they have diverse flavor profiles:
- Midori tastes sweeter and fruitier.
- Absinthe has stronger herbal notes.
So, depending on personal preference & likings; you can create some fantastic cocktails that will wow any house-guests daring enough to safely enjoy from home as we keep social-distancing for yet another 6 months+.
Some Tasty Options
Here are some popular choices if seeking inspiration when creating 'wow' factor-worthy holiday/festive season beverages:
- The Hemingway's Death in Afternoon cocktail combines absinthe with champagne
- Make a green punch using Midori mixed alongside pineapple juice and vodka
- A simple Green Tea shot featuring Midori liqueur plus your favorite brand/flavor of sour mix + peach schnapps
And just like that - what started out as a modest objective at understanding all about green alcohol has elevated into venturing further than most would dare attempt: experimenting with mid-to-high-end spirits.
In conclusion (are there tears streaming down those cheeks thinking about this article ending) … Green Alcohol doesn’t always indicate ‘dangerous substances poured into our drink’ nor does it represent ancient mystical liquids brewed by shamans (unless sipping on one specific variation), but provides us all with new possibilities towards enjoying even more flavorful variances within the bartenders mixology world. Perhaps after reading through here you're now eagerly waiting till the pandemic ends soon so you too can sample different types without fear of their potency while making new friendships amidst the merriment + excitement.
Tell us your favorite way of mixing drinks involving green alcohol - we may just try it out in our next house-party, ensuring responsible and tasteful sipping will occur.