Vieux Carré gives new meaning to the notion of drinking "green." Sure, the name and the ornately decorated square bottle are a nod to New Orleans, the historic seat of absinthe in America during the Belle Époque. But this latest entry in the red-hot revival of absinthe is as fresh and local as it gets - released last month by the distillers of Bluecoat gin in Northeast Philadelphia.
Echoing Bluecoat's highly aromatic take on gin, Vieux Carré pushes the herbal envelope - even for absinthe - with so much natural chlorophyll in the coarsely-filtered liquor that it looks like milky pondwater when mixed with a sugar cube and cool water. Swirling up from that cloudy "louche" effect, though, is one complex and beguiling drink.