September 3, 2005

Absinthe: Visit the Green Fairy

After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not.Finally you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world.
-Oscar Wilde

I've had Absinthe a few times, and I would have to agree with Mr. Wilde. Banned for a 100 years in Europe because of the widespread problems it caused in the 19th century, more Absinthe was drunk than beer between 1890 and 1914. Absinthe was drunk by notables including Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe and Vincent Van Gogh. Some even speculate visits to the Green Fairy led to the decision-making process that caused Mr. Van Gogh to remove his ear.

Absinthe was loved not only for its high alcohol content, ranging from 50 to 70 percent (that's 100 to 140 proof), but also for the dreamlike effects brought about by the wormwood. Sounds great, doesn't it? Never fear, la Fée Verte is back on the market, and while the ban is still in effect in the U.S., the stout of heart can buy all the Absinthe they need online.

Pros

  • Ridiculously High Alcohol Content
  • A Completely Different Kind of Buzz
  • Makes You Feel Like a Literary Giant - or at least I did
  • A Chance to Try Something New - and no, I don't mean cutting off your ear

Cons

  • Very Spendy - when I looked it was AT LEAST $100/bottle, plus shipping unless someone is visiting Europe and can bring it back
  • Blinding Hangovers - I swear I was blind in one eye for two hours, but I might be able to trace that back to drinking one too many Bull Rushes (see below)
  • Bitter Taste - unless you like the taste of what my friend calls "liquorice from Hell"
  • Everyone Who's Heard of It Wants to Try It - If you get a bottle, keep it under lock and key or you'll constantly hear "You have Absinthe? Can I have a taste?"
  • That Whole "Illegal in the United States" Thing

Absinthe Recipes
Traditionally, Absinthe was drunk mixed with water, or if a batch had a particularly high wormwood content, strained through a sugar cube and splashed with water. Below are a couple recipes I modified from the Sebor Absinth website, and have enjoyed immensely:

Hemingway
Put two ice cubes in a champagne flute
Add 2 shots Absinthe
Fill glass rest of the way with champagne

Bull Rush
Mix 1 can red bull, 1 shot vodka, 1 shot sebor
pour over ice

Where to Buy Absinthe
If you're up for the challenge, my friend got his bottle from Sebor Absinth, or you can go to the Absinthe Buyer's Guide to shop around.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 3, 2005 9:15 AM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Absinthe: Visit the Green Fairy:

» Absinthe Revisited...And Debunked? from Liquor Snob
Last week, we offered you our humble opinion on absinthe, the fabled green fairy that is said to have caused so much trouble back in the 19th century. We've found another blog article on the subject, one that offers a...[Read More]

» Absinthe Revisited...And Debunked? from Liquor Snob
Last week, we offered you our humble opinion on absinthe, the fabled green fairy that is said to have caused so much trouble back in the 19th century. We've found another blog article on the subject, one that offers a...[Read More]

» Absinthe Revisited...And Debunked? from Liquor Snob
Last week, we offered you our humble opinion on absinthe, the fabled green fairy that is said to have caused so much trouble back in the 19th century. We've found another blog article on the subject, one that offers a...[Read More]

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