Lucid’s Lucid Decision: To Seek OU Certification to Satisfy the Kosher Market for its Genuine Absinthe

Lucid Absinthe, the first genuine absinthe to be legal for import and sale in the United States in over 95 years, has acquired kosher certification from the Orthodox Union. After receiving enormous interest in Lucid from consumers who keep kosher, and committed to serving that segment of the market, Viridian Spirits, owners of Lucid, contacted the OU to determine whether Lucid would qualify for the certification. The company was delighted to learn that all of its existing processes and ingredients already were sufficient to achieve Orthodox Union’s hallowed seal.

Lucid Absinthe Supérieure was launched in May 2007. The launch was the result of extensive negotiations between Viridian and the U.S. government paving the way for the ban on absinthe effectively to come to an end. Viridian retained renowned absinthe historian and distiller T.A. Breaux to develop Lucid in France. Breaux had spent over a decade studying and perfecting his techniques after sampling and analyzing several unopened bottles of vintage absinthe.

Consumers in the New York region were the first to sample the ultra-premium product, crafted exactly the same way absinthe was made 100 years ago. Due to the strong demand over the several months since the launch, Lucid is now distributed throughout the country in 28 states and more markets are expected to be added throughout the year.

“We initially felt that there would be a demand for absinthe in the U.S. after we witnessed its reemergence on the European scene and in American pop culture,” said Jared Gurfein, President of Viridian Spirits LLC. “Our expectations have truly been exceeded and we are looking forward to taking this brand to new levels.”

Lucid is an authentic absinthe in the tradition of absinthe from the Belle Époque period. Unlike many contemporary imitations currently available in the U.S. and abroad, Lucid, naturally green in color, is distilled entirely from spirits and whole European herbs and uses no artificial additives, oils or dyes. Lucid begins with a full measure of Grande Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium), Green Anise, Sweet Fennel, and other culinary herbs representative of European traditions and historical absinthe crafting.

Lucid is distilled at the historical Combier Distillery in Saumur, France, in the heart of the Loire Valley. T.A. Breaux chose to use the distillery’s original antique copper absinthe stills and apparatus, much of which was designed by Gustav Eiffel in the nineteenth century.

As a testament to the brand’s early success, Lucid was recently named as one of The Top 12 Picks for 2008 by Beverage Industry News Magazine. Voted on annually by a panel of key retailers, distributors and beverage professionals, B.I.N. award recipients are selected as influential spirit brands to watch for in the coming year.

The OU rabbinic staff responsible for the certification of Lucid agree with the raves. Rabbi Yony Kantor, OU Senior Wine and Liquor Supervisor, who visited the distillery was “impressed with the meticulousness with which this premium product is crafted.” Rabbi Yisrael Hollander, OU Director of European Supervision, said, “This product has been manufactured the same way for over 150 years – same recipe, same process, same taste.” And Senior Rabbinic Coordinator Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz “welcomes this fine product into the growing ranks of OU certified spirits.”

The suggested retail price for Lucid is $59.99 for a 750 ML bottle. Lucid is currently available in high-end retail shops and finer establishments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Viridian also sells classic absinthe accessories such as fountains, glasses and absinthe spoons. For more information, please visit http://www.drinklucid.com.

Rabbi Jacob Mendelson serves Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator for Viridian Spirits.