For many people, absinthe is a drink that is clouded in mystery and made intimidating by rumors and innuendo. "I don't know," they'll say when the subject comes up, "is it going to make me cut any body parts off?" We just found out about a documentary that's attempting to separate fact and fiction for the enigmatic spirit. We haven't seen it yet, but we plan to post haste.
From the synopsis:
Absinthe: was it ambrosia or poison, artistic muse or ticket to madness and death? There is a tremendous fascination with absinthe, yet few truly know its rich history. The documentary ABSINTHE definitively brings the Green Fairy out of her clouded past where, for one hundred years, her fabled effects and demonized reputation have excited equal doses of admiration and loathing.
Check out the trailer below and hit the Absinthe Film website for more info; you can also stream the movie at Amazon.
Over the weekend we watched the first episode of season 2 of Archer, one of our favorite shows in the universe. The episode, called "Swiss Miss," took place in Switzerland, and featured a cocktail called a "Green Russian," to hilarious results. We caused quite a stir by jokingly posting to Facebook that we were whipping up some Green Russians, and afterward our interest was piqued. We had to try it, but was our assumption that it was a White Russian made with swiss absinthe way off base?
Calling all arty absinthe lovers for a contest that should be right up your alley. Pernod is currently running a "Creator of" art contest with all kinds of great prizes, including a grand prize of $1,805 (1805 was when Pernod was first made) and some cool promotional opportunities. What exactly do you have to do? As it says in the image above, use the number 1805 in an original work of art (the categories include painting, illustration, photography, video, and digital/animation), which you submit to Pernod.
Seems simple enough to us. The only catch? You only have about a week to do it - submissions close on January 31. So crank down some absinthe and let out your inner van Gogh, or whatever other crazy artist suits your fancy. So get crackin' and submit your piece to Pernod - and don't forget the little guys (ahem) when you're big on the art scene. Details and enter at Pernod's Facebook page.
Last week we told you about the New York Times' declaration that Kubler was its best value absinthe. This week, we're telling you we just got our own liter bottle of the Swiss concoction to try it for ourselves. At 106 proof it doesn't pack quite the punch of some of the other bottles we've tried, but we're fairly confident we're going to like what we get.
Yes! Body paint IS good! Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, right...absinthe. Man, this day keeps getting better.
We just got word that the folks over at a little rag called the New York Times just ranked some absinthes based on value, and a little brand called Kubler came in as the best value. We've never had Kubler, but we're hoping to remedy that ASAP - any of our readers have an opinion they'd like to share? All we know is it apparently makes blondes dress like in the picture above. We'll take two bottles please.
Oh, you wanted the full ranking? Yeah, we can do that too. Sorry...we keep getting distracted by the picture. According to NYT here's the ranking:
4. Emile Pernot
5. St. George
6. Jade Nouvele-Orleans
8. La Clandenstine
Before we received our bottle of Absinthe Mata Hari, we had never heard of bohemian absinthe. We figured it was some kind of crazy libation people drank at poetry readings, sipping on it in between snapping their fingers in applause for the latest spoken word stylings. Hell, maybe that's exactly what it is.
All we know is we tried it, and yeah...maybe we did feel a bit more like Maynard G Krebs afterward.
We're big absinthe fans from way back, but some of the folks we know aren't huge anise fans. "Too much Good N Plenty taste," we hear. "It overpowers everything else with licorice." Fie on you, imaginary friends.
If you're looking to toy with absinthe but you're not ready for hot licorice action, Absinthe Mata Hari, of the Bohemian variety is on the scene. In the tradition of good websites, the Mata Hari site has anticipated your question of "What's a Bohemian absinthe?" Good on them.
Bohemian style absinthe however, does not hail from France. In the case of Mata Hari absinthe, this bohemian recipe comes from Austria and has been in the Fischer family since 1881. Mata Hari has the same natural green color, grande wormwood(the subject of the controversy that led to the banning of absinthe) and louche effect of French style absinthe, but that is where her deception ends. The much less anise heavy taste leaves a far more desirable flavor when enjoyed in the traditional ritual or in one of the many cocktails that can be created with Mata Hari.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to make your voices heard about a topic that is near and dear to our hearts - Absinthe. The folks over at the Absinthe Review Network are taking a survey of American knowledge and attitudes toward absinthe and the brands available here. Since we've only had access to legal absinthe here in the states for a little over a year now, it might be limited, but that's the whole point of the survey!
Head on over and let them know what you know, and maybe you'll find out about some brands you've never heard of before. Sounds like a win/win/win to us, and you can bet we'll be taking the survey ourselves later today.
OK, we know it's tough times out there, but we've found something we think might convince us to loosen the purse strings. How can you go wrong with an absinthe fountain, four glasses, three spoons and a grill? If you drink enough absinthe you'll forget about the cake you dropped on it, and if push comes to shove you can worship it as some kind of heathen idol. It's what we call a win/win.
We just found this interesting post on Boing Boing about absinthe-flavored lollipops. That's all well and good, but if you're feeling adventurous and want to save yourself the two bucks, we have a recommendation. You can replicate our first absinthe experience (read: uninformed and overserved), you should throw a full box of Good N Plenties into a bottle of vodka, drop in a couple tabs of acid, punch yourself in the face, and chug the whole mess. On second thought, stick to the lollipops.
We've been hearing about all kinds of absinthes being made available in the states now that the ban has been lifted, and we're glad to report you can now buy La Clandestine Absinthe Superieur here. Well, OK, maybe "now" is a strong word but you can pre-order it for when it's available on October 6, which isn't far away.
We did a La Clandestine review a while back, and we really enjoyed it for its flavor, distinctive color (it's clear instead of the traditional green), and louche. It's available in New York, and thanks to the website DrinkUpNY you can now buy it anywhere in the country (as long as they ship there - you'll want to check on that, eh?)
It's a bit spendy at $85 a bottle, but they're selling it for $80 and we thought it was worth every penny when we tried it. Like we said, it's available October 6, and DrinkUpNY currently has a special where you get free shipping on orders over $100, so just plunk down for a couple absinthe-related accessories (a spoon and a goblet should do it) and you're good to go.
We've gotten our hands on another bottle of absinthe recently, and we didn't even have to worry about whether customs officials were going to kick down our door, now that it's all legal and everything. The bottle we received was La Fee Absinthe Parisienne, and our first impression is that it's got a cool logo, that oh so dangereux green color, and a sweet silver absinthe spoon included. Not bad. Oh, and we also got the high test version - it comes in both 90 and 136 proof - so you can expect our review to be a bit off-kilter.
Here's what its creators have to say about it:
La Fee Absinthe Parisienne is distilled in Paris based on a 19th Century recipe containing wormwood and is the only absinthe authenticated by Marie-Claude Delahaye, founder and curator of the absinthe museum. Before diluting it is clear, showing a striking green color and has an attractive fresh anise aroma. When water is added its louche has great consistency turning a milky lime green. There are hints of fennel and apple fruit characters with a round textural mouth feel that is both smooth and refreshing.
Remember a few years ago, when the only way you could get absinthe was to order it online for exorbitant prices, or convince a friend to mule a bottle or two back from Europe? Those days are over, friends, because we're suddenly about to see a glut of absinthe brands hit American shelves. We've already seen Lucid and Kubler, and according to our friends over at The Real Absinthe Blog, you can expect to see a whole lot more.
Bevlaw, a firm concentrating on the federal regulation of alcohol beverages. has been keeping track of the product and label permissions given to absinthes, and recorded 12 by May 2008. These include the early launches such as Lucid, Kübler and St. George, the more recent launches such as Grande Absente Originale, Le Tourment Vert, and La Fée Parisienne, and some that have yet to reach the market. These include Mythe Absinthe Traditional, Libertine, and Mata Hari Absinthe Bohemian.
Head on over to The Real Absinthe Blog to read more, which includes all sorts of interesting news and a bunch more brands. We've included an image from the upcoming brand that intrigues us most - we're not sure what absinthe creme liqueur tastes like, but we can pretty much guarantee it's not your grandma's Bailey's.
This video is a bit longer than we'll normally sit through (like, a whole seven minutes) but this one caught our attention because it's about one of our favorite subjects. You'll learn a whole lot about absinthe, from how it's made to how it was demonized by rival spirits, which helped give it the bad rep it's had lately (a hundred years or so). Get there.