In Bed-Stuy, the City’s First Absinthe Distillery

If you’ve been meaning to fly with the green fairy, this local upstart is a great place to begin.

DocHersonsAbsinthe

Photo courtesy of Doc Herson’s.

Goths of Bushwick, rejoice: Absinthe is the latest spirit to get Brooklyn’s signature artisanal makeover. Doc Herson’s botanical-forward line includes that standard green as well as a red hibiscus version, with a white variety coming this summer.

Kevin and Stacey Herson are the couple behind the brand. He was trading commodities when they began tinkering with absinthe distillation in a Harlem basement in 2012; she still owns an East Village vintage store. All of their grains are sourced from upstate (naturally), but what really sets them apart is the flavor: their classic green absinthe tones down the commonly brash anise notes that turn off American palates. “In ours, you can taste the lemon; you can taste the fresh mint,” Stacey says. There’s 11 different botanicals in the blend, which now goes from fermentation to bottle in their 300-square-foot micro-distillery, housed in Bed-Stuy’s old Pfizer building.

The more subtle flavors of their absinthes make them ideal for cocktails. Bars housing Doc Herson’s bottles on their shelves include William Barnacle Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Harlem Public, the Eddy and Chez Moi. If you’ve been meaning to fly with the green fairy, this local upstart is a great place to begin.

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Alicia Kennedy is a Long Island–born, Brooklyn-based food writer and recipe developer.