Herbsaint, hailing from New Orleans, was created in 1933 by J. Marion Legendre. Since absinthe was banned in 1912, he created the product to be an absinthe substitute. Originally named Legendre Absinthe, the federal authorities insisted that the name be changed, even though the recipe did not contain wormwood. He acquiesced, and began labeling the bottles Legendre Herbsaint, which loosely translates as "holy herb". The name Herbsaint is a play on the French pronunciation of absinthe, absente, and is also the French term for wormwood. The label on the bottle has always featured an image of the Old Absinthe House, a New Orleans watering hole favored by absinthe enthusiasts. By the 1940s, Herbsaint was the favored absinthe substitute in New Orleans and was used in a variety of cocktails, including the Sazerac.
In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Herbsaint's official production, the Sazerac Company is releasing Herbsaint Original, which is produced according to the very same recipe that Legendre first used in 1933. This limited edition item is bottled at 100 Proof and composed of a secret mix of botanicals, resulting in a rich, complex spirit with a strong anise note.
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