Is your dad the kind of guy who disappears into his workshop for hours in search of a better mousetrap? He might like Lucid Absinthe. Popular in the 19th and early-20th centuries, especially in France, the anise-flavored spirit was banned due to concerns that it contained dangerously high levels of the chemical compound thujone, found in the key absinthe botanical ingredient Artemisia Absinthium.
But environmental chemist T.A. Breaux wasn't convinced the experts were right. A Louisiana native, Breaux had some pre-ban bottles of absinthe. He ran it through the mass spectrometer and, hey presto, found only trace amounts of thujone. In 2007, Lucid, produced in France, was approved for importation to the United States.