A New Orleans apothecary-turned-entrepreneur by the name of J. Marion Legendre introduced a product called Legendre Absinthe upon his return to New Orleans after WWI. Sadly for Legendre, just months after launching his product, the U.S. Government forced him to remove the word absinthe from his brand name amid concerns that absinthe could have detrimental effects on people. Legendre quickly re-named his product Herbsaint and launched an aggressive marketing campaign that called on people to “Drink Herbsaint Wherever Absinthe Is Called For.” In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Herbsaint production, the Sazerac Company released a new product called Herbsaint Original, made according to the very same recipe that Legendre first used in 1934.
The first production of Herbsaint was in 1934. The name “Herbsaint” is from the French-Creole word for wormwood (L’Herbe Sainte) and advertised “Legendre Absinthe is now Herbsaint.” Legendre Absinthe never actually contained wormwood. It was instead promoted as “Absinthe without wormwood.” In 2009, the Sazerac Company resurrected the original formula and packaging and produced Herbsaint Original. Herbsaint is a key ingredient in the Sazerac Cocktail
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