How Fairy Dust was inspired by Absinthe
Fairy Dust syrup is a handcrafted, small-batch, craft cocktail syrup. Fairy Dust was inspired by absinthe! I was eager to take absinthe's refreshing but bold flavors and make them into a delightful non-alcoholic syrup.
The Origin Story of Fairy Dust
As a long time absinthe fan, I was curious about what it takes to make a wonderful batch of absinthe. An absinthe that is mellow yet spirited. An absinthe that can be sipped alone or added to enhance cocktail recipes. So I started experimenting with recipes, creating these at home, and sharing them with friends and family.
I'd tinker with the recipe with each batch of absinthe I made and would base my changes on the feedback offered by friends. At each party or event, I served my absinthe. Occasionally during these moments, friends expressed they loved absinthe for its sturdy and bold flavor but were not drinking alcohol. They inquired if I had anything like my absinthe but alcohol-free. Absinthe must be a distilled spirit, and there was nothing available to these absinthe-loving teetotalers.
A few years ago, my friend Jared Hirsch, a notable Bay Area mixologist, and I collaborated on the cocktail syrup Caged Heat. We took Jared's beloved Caged Heat recipe that he created at Sidebar Restaurant in Oakland to a purchasable, bottled product for home bars and bartenders.
Jared and I were motivated by our success with Caged Heat and explored ideas for different syrup flavors and combinations. As a mixologist, Jared knows that people want to have the kind of complex cocktails their favorite bartender makes for them at home. With each syrup flavor we created, our goal was to make a cocktail experience with each pour and to make your home bar the hottest spot in town!
This was when I knew that I had to apply my knowledge of absinthe and form it in a new way. I was eager to take absinthe's refreshing but bold flavors and make them into a delightful non-alcoholic syrup. And this is how Fairy Dust small-batch craft syrup was born.
Absinthe relies on the flavors of three herbs; fennel, anise, and wormwood. This is also known as the trinity of herbs. This trinity of herbs was the initiation of Fairy Dust. Absinthe is about sophistication. Because of its balanced and bold flavors, absinthe is not a drink that intends to show off. Rather it leans into the trinity of herbs to produce its unique nuances.
Since I've been making absinthe for over 20 years, I'm aware that most people in the U.S. find the predominant flavors of anise, fennel, and wormwood to be unappealing. When making absinthe and creating the Fairy Dust cocktail syrup, I strived to make the experience of these flavors mellow and balanced to make an intriguing but herbal experience.
I like the absinthe I make because the overtones are bright and floral. I aspired to make a cocktail syrup that relied on the unique nuances of absinthe flavor while producing a bright and floral overtone without being overwhelming.
I experimented with the recipe. Got feedback from taste testers and tweaked the recipe until I knew that the syrup offered was compelling and could enhance a number of cocktail recipes.
The next step was to unleash Fairy Dust at SideBar. Jared created cocktail drinks and non-alcoholic drinks using our newly minted syrup. We knew we had a hit product when the Fairy Dust cocktail - a delightful combination of gin, lemon juice and the experimental bottle of Fairy Dust cocktail syrup - sold out on the first night.
Our next step was to develop the recipe to be shelf-stable and present it to the world! Since its inception, we have sold nearly 7,000 bottles of Fairy Dust, and it has gone on to win a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2020!
I am most proud of Fairy Dust because it delivers the playful flavors of the green fairy in a zero alcohol form.
What Does Fairy Dust Go With?
Fairy Dust has a happy-go-lucky ambiance to it with its fresh botanical and mellow tones.
It pairs well with a great Gin or Tequila for a delicious cocktail.
There are a variety of ways to prepare Fairy Dust as a non-alcoholic drink. You can mix it with soda water and lemon juice. Or add it to regular water with a splash of Peychaud's bitters and lemon. Or try making our Virgin Fairy Dust recipe!
The Virgin Fairy Dust Recipe
2 oz Seedlip Garden non-alcoholic spirit
1 oz Fairy Dust syrup
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Shake over Ice and strain into a cocktail glass of your choosing. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
3 Qualities about Fairy Dust that make it Unique
Did you know that absinthe became so popular in late 19th century France that the late afternoon was referred to as the "Green Hour?" The Green Hour was the time when people enjoyed an absinthe drink. When I meet the Green Hour about 4pm in the afternoon, a Fairy Dust mocktail hits all the right happy hour buttons.
I love how Fairy Dust syrup evokes the spirit of absinthe! It's a unique flavor that is sweet. Try adding a little lemon to your Fairy Dust syrup to experience how it tastes like a lemon drop!
The greatest part of Fairy Dust syrup is that it supports people who don't drink alcohol. They can still enjoy absinthe's flavor and the ritual of mixing a refreshing drink.
Our syrups are made in California and are zero-alcohol, gluten-free, and approximately 100 calories per 2 oz. serving. Check out our variety case that includes our four unique syrups Fairy Dusy, Caged Heat, Cherry Bomb, and Crimsom Smoke.
In search of recipes for Fairy Dust or Absinthe check out my library of over 100 cocktail recipes!
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