The freaky drink known as the green devil or the green fairy; Absinthe, was banned in America, France, Switzerland and many other European countries in the early 1900s. Until then, it had been the drink of choice for many artists and the belle epoque cafe set. Vincent van Gogh was greatly influenced by the drink, he painted many of his works in ochres and pale greens, the colours of absinthe. Many of his paintings also depict the bar in which he used to drink, and himself with glasses of absinthe.
There was a revival of absinthe in the 1990s, as folk realised that production was actually still legal in the UK. Over the years, European countries reclassified their alcohol laws and it is now legal to produce and sell it in practically every country where alcohol is legal.
Contemporary drinkers include famous celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and musicians including Eminen and Marilyn Manson. Depp once declared, “I hated cocaine but I used to like absinthe, which is like marijuana; drink too much and you suddenly realise why van Gogh cut off his ear.”
Marilyn Manson has created his own version of the green devil called Mansinthe. Food and drink critics have said it smells like sewage water, swamp mud and rubbing alcohol. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t bode well for the taste.
One critic said “If a smell could speak, this absinthe is saying: ‘Do not touch.'”