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The “Green Fairy”

A spirit based on the plant of the same name, Absinthe is a drink whose turbulent history is rooted in the Jura Mountains, between France and Switzerland. Grown in the vallée du Drugeon, absinthe owes its reputation to the town of Pontarlier, where it’s distilled. Very much in vogue in the early 20th century, its production was a mainstay of the local economy, until it was prohibited in 1915. But the “green fairy” did not leave. At the turn of the 21st century, her prohibition was lifted.

 

Quite a Ritual

Savouring a glass of absinthe is almost an initiation rite, whereby the patience required for its preparation only adds to the pleasure. It’s by the careful drop-by-drop passing of ice water through a sugar cube placed on a delicately-chiselled flat spoon and balanced on the edge of the glass that the “green fairy” releases its aromas and amber and green tones.

 

A New Experience

To explore the home of this mythical drink, a stay in the Jura Mountains is required. On the agenda is a visit to one of the last two traditional distilleries in Pontarlier; a pilgrimage along the Route de l’Absinthe with a stop at the Château de Joux, , an architectural treasure in the Haut-Doubs and, for the more active amongst you, you can always do one of the numerous activities on offer at the Lac de Saint-Point.

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