The Absinthe Frappe – Episode 192

Absinthe Resurgence: From Ban to Boom – A Conversation with Marielle Songy

Have you ever heard the myths surrounding absinthe?

Myth #1: Absinthe can make you hallucinate.
Myth #2: It was banned for being a dangerous drug.
Myth #3: The Green Fairy was a mystical presence associated with absinthe.

In this episode, our guest Marielle Songy will reveal the truth behind these intriguing tales and unravel the fascinating history and culture of absinthe.

Step into the captivating world of absinthe, where the threads of history intertwine with the allure of a mysterious elixir. Join Marielle Songy as she uncovers the secrets behind the enigmatic Absinthe Frappé, a cocktail that holds the key to New Orleans’ vibrant past. With every page turned, immerse yourself in the tales of bartenders and bans, controversies and creativity.

Marielle Songy, a food and culture writer from the New Orleans area, found herself captivated by the rich history and cultural significance of absinthe. When approached by LSU Press to write a book for their iconic New Orleans cocktail series, she was drawn to the Absinthe Frappé, a unique cocktail that originated in New Orleans.

With a love for absinthe and a desire to delve into its intriguing past, Marielle embarked on a journey to uncover the origins and stories behind this enigmatic spirit. From the invention of the Frappé to the controversies and bans surrounding absinthe, Marielle’s research allowed her to explore the deep connections between absinthe, art, and literature. Through her writing, she brings to life the vibrant history and cultural significance of absinthe, inviting readers on a journey of discovery into the world of this beloved and misunderstood spirit.

Absinthe has touched so much throughout history, in art and writing and things like that. It has a connection to New Orleans because of its French connections. – Marielle Songy

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the fascinating origins and cultural significance of absinthe, exploring its rich history and the myths that surround this infamous spirit.
  • Uncover the traditional method of serving absinthe, including the intriguing process of looshing and the ritualistic addition of sugar, elevating your absinthe experience to new heights.
  • Dive into the captivating story behind the invention of the absinthe frappé cocktail, a refreshing and popular drink in the late 19th century that will transport you to a bygone era of indulgence.
  • Learn about the pivotal role Ted Breaux played in lifting the absinthe ban, reintroducing this beloved spirit to the United States, and discover the secrets behind his Jade Liqueurs crafted with traditional herbs.
  • Explore the mesmerizing influence of absinthe on art and literature, discovering how famous artists and writers of the past were inspired by this enigmatic drink to create masterpieces that still captivate us today.


The Historic New Orleans Collection

Support comes from The Historic New Orleans Collection, the city’s premiere history museum, located at five twenty Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter. 

Check out their online publication called First Draft. Its’ a combination blog and online exhibition space.

Through November 5, 2023, check out  their exhibit about women’s right to vote. Titled, “Yet She Is Advancing”: New Orleans Women and the Right to Vote, 1878–1970 

The 19th amendment granted American women the right to vote, in 1920,  but Louisiana laws effectively disenfranchised Black women. 

As many white women began going to the polls and increasing their political participation in segregation-era New Orleans, African American women continued to fight for access to the ballot. 

This exhibit tells a decades-long story through objects, images, documents, and interactive displays—and through the words of the New Orleans women who for nearly 100 years persisted in their struggle to obtain the vote.

And until October 8, 2023 you can check out the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.

As always, the Historic New Orleans Collection is free. It’s somehow continues to fly under the radar, but should not be missed.

Go to to plan your trip.

Liz Wood Realty

The most frequent questions I get are about moving to New Orleans. If you are ready to make the move, you need a good realtor.

That’s where Liz Wood comes in.

Let Liz and her team over at Liz Wood Realty help you find the right place. They can help whether you plan to rent or purchase

New Orleans is a terrific city, but choosing the neighborhood that’s the best fit for you can be overwhelming.

Liz makes the process fun and easy. Reach out to Liz at and make your dream of living in New Orleans a reality. Several members of our community have done just that and are thrilled with their new homes You will be, too!

The other thing that sets Liz apart is what she does after she helps you find a home. Liz does a great job at building community and helping you get connected with people in your new area. When you’re ready to make New Orleans home, reach out to Liz.

Tommy Manzella At Gulf Coast Bank 

While you are looking for a home or rental to purchase, you need to probably need to secure financing. Reach out to Tommy Manzella at Gulf Coast Mortgage and let him help you get everything in place. 

That’s what we did on our refi and it was as smooth as could be. We went through the same process with Tommy when we were considering purchasing a new home and it was just as easy. Reach out to Tommy Manzella a t~

All the Bitter

I want to talk about our newest sponsor, All the Bitter. They make 100% alcohol free bitters using organic ingredients. Winners of 20 awards from major spirit competitions, they can be used in both alcohol-based and alcohol free concoctions. I’ve tried them in multiple drinks, and on vanilla ice cream.

They have four main bitters now, with several experimental varieties on the way. The ones I have are the New Orleans, inspired by Peychaud’s, as well as Orange, Lavender, and Aromatic which is inspired by Angostura. Place your order at and use code BBS15 to get 15% off your order or shop locally in New Orleans at Dream House Lounge.

Thank You

Thanks to Marielle Songy for joining me today, and to Southern Food and Beverage for hosting us! Thanks also to our podcast editor Joel Sharpton from Pro Podcast Services. Purchase Marielle’s nook The Absinthe Frappe here.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you enjoy the show, please subscribe to the podcast on

Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SpotifyGoogle Play Music or wherever you get your podcasts. If you do enjoy listening, please share Beyond Bourbon Street with someone who shares our love of New Orleans.

Purchase our Travel Guide to New Orleans

Did you know I wrote a book. The Beyond Bourbon Street Insider’s Guide to New Orleans is your curated guide to exploring the city as if you were my guest. To discover purchase options, click here.


New Orleans is so much more than the Bourbon Street scenes you may have seen–– it’s a 300-year-old city made up of vibrant neighborhoods, diverse populations, and traditions layered upon each other.
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