Absinthe Anyone?

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Greyghost
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2007/11/29 18:05:39 (permalink)

Absinthe Anyone?

Absinthe is back after a longtime ban. Has anyone tried it? If so what are your thoughts? As it has been banned for my entire lifetime, I think I would like to try it just to see what all the excitement has been about. Wikipedia has a good article about it. Here is a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe
#1

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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 18:17:00 (permalink)
    I did it in Germany several times. I always had mine with coffee beans. Sorta tough on me as I can drink Canadian neat but not that.

    Paul E. Smith
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    #2
    Sneetch
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 18:58:40 (permalink)
    absinthe made me feel soft, fuzzy, and swirly in the head - still have some at home, have to check on the name (it was a french brand)...a fun thing to try, but i found it difficult to actually drink - even diluted with water in the classic serving mode, the licorice flavor was reeeaally overpowering, and also intensely sweet...great if you like Ouzo or Pernod, however!
    #3
    Robearjr
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 19:16:15 (permalink)
    I think there are different kinds of Absinthe. I bought some in Canada years ago, and while it was still baned in the States, I don't think it was the same stuff that drove turn of the century artists to madness.

    I found the stuff I had tasted like scope meets sambuca.

    #4
    jgleduc
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 19:24:43 (permalink)
    I've had it several times, though not recently. It was kind of like washing down handfuls of Good & Plenty candies with shots of grain alcohol.
    #5
    Big_g
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 20:01:17 (permalink)
    Like Paul, I got turned on to it in Germany. Being young and invicible, I couldn't say no...and was VERY gone for the weekend.
    I've stayed hooked on Pernod ever since. And when I can have and adult beverage, its always a toss up between Pernod, Scotch or T-killya.
    #6
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/29 21:01:38 (permalink)
    One time, in Las Vegas, I had a shot of absinthe. The next morning I was told I had won a jackpot at video poker the night before. I didn't even remember it.
    #7
    EliseT
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 06:14:40 (permalink)
    I have a bottle in my cpboard - come on over!

    Absinthe with wormwood is commonly banned in most places. Czechoslovakia is the cheapest, most common exporter. You have to check for wormwood or it will not get the slightly hallucinogenic/opiate effect.

    You are supposed to dilute it with water. There is an elaborate ritual where you put a sugar cube on a small slotted spoon over the glass, and slowly pour the water over the sugar cube. As this sweet liquid hits the absinthe, it creates a wispy, lighter color in the center, the famous "green fairy".

    I would say Good n Plenty mixed with grain alcohol is a better description than most. At my New Years party we got slightly more drunk and fuzzy, but one person did go naked in the Moonbouncer around 4am.

    #8
    eatingteam
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 07:06:17 (permalink)
    I thought it was like a Sambuca with a terrible aftertaste. It does the trick though. I can't atest to any holucinations or anything...

    Tony
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    JT1
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 09:52:32 (permalink)
    I snuck some back from the Canary Islands last year and shared it with my then-girlfriend. It did say it was made with wormwood, but we did not notice any other effect than if we had just sipped on some Sambuca--which would have tasted a lot better. I was disappointed that I didn't wake up after having written the great American novel in an Absinthe haze, but tequila has never opened "doors of perception" for me, either.
    #10
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 10:42:11 (permalink)
    That would be a "no" for me... the taste of licorice makes me gag... which is why I'm not a big fan of fennel either.
    #11
    tiki
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 11:08:54 (permalink)
    It was illegal--BUT---back in 73 when i lived in Norlins there where a couple of places where it was still available to a few folks---it was an essential in making a real Cajerac---Killer cocktail!!!!
    #12
    divefl
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 11:38:24 (permalink)
    Did it straight in the Czech Repoublic. One of the few places it is still legal. It burned like fire. No green fairy. It's 3x as potent as a normal shot.
    #13
    BT
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 12:46:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    It was illegal--BUT---back in 73 when i lived in Norlins there where a couple of places where it was still available to a few folks---it was an essential in making a real Cajerac---Killer cocktail!!!!


    New Orleans has a famous substitute: Herbsaint. You sure that wasn't what you were drinking? Reading the Wikipedia article linked back at the top of the thread, I got the impression in 1973 real absinthe--with wormwood or thujone--wasn't even being made.

    The Sazerac Cocktail

    1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar)
    3 - 4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
    2 ounces rye whiskey (most New Orleans bars use Old Overholt)
    1/4 teaspoon Herbsaint, a New Orleans brand of anise liqueur
    (You may use Pernod, or some other pastis or absinthe substitute)
    Strip of lemon peel

    Pack a 3-1/2 ounce old fashioned glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, moisten the sugar cube with just enough water to saturate it, then crush. Blend with the whiskey and bitters. Add a few cubes of ice and stir to chill. Discard the ice from the first glass and pour in the Herbsaint. Coat the inside of the entire glass, pouring out the excess. Strain the whiskey into the Herbsaint coated glass. Twist the lemon peel over the glass so that the lemon oil cascades into the drink, then rub the peel over the rim of the glass; do not put the twist in the drink. Or, as Stanley Clisby Arthur says, "Do not commit the sacrilege of dropping the peel into the drink."

    #14
    BT
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 12:51:31 (permalink)
    If you absinthe lovers haven't seen the movie "From Hell", you should. Johnny Depp does absinthe like no one else:

    #15
    mbrookes
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 13:20:00 (permalink)
    I first heard of Absinthe in the movie "Madam X" and have wanted to try it ever since. Maybe one day....
    #16
    jmckee
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 13:33:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jennifer_4

    That would be a "no" for me... the taste of licorice makes me gag... which is why I'm not a big fan of fennel either.


    Me too. Licorice: The candy you eat because you envy Godzilla's breath.
    #17
    mar52
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/11/30 22:51:50 (permalink)
    I had some the way Elise described it. My cousin sneaked it in from Amsterdam after living there for a year.

    The procedure was more interesting than the taste.
    #18
    spicoli
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 01:24:45 (permalink)
    The one banned ingredient is wormwood, which has no hallucinogenic effect whatsoever unless it's consumed in mass (i.e. gallons and gallons) quantities. The reason Absinthe had such an effect on artists was that it's 138 proof. And that goes for the version you can get in the US as well.
    #19
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 02:08:50 (permalink)
    I believe Absinthe was Vincent Van Gogh's drink of choice. Obviously, it worked for him.
    #20
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 07:15:55 (permalink)
    And the reason it was banned in France for a while in the 1800's was because it had killed people - due to the copper sulfate which wasn't distilled out. It gave them a greenish skin color before they died. The French wine cartels also advertised about absinthe's deadly attributes to encourage the ban (and increase wine drinking).
    #21
    seafarer john
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 10:52:53 (permalink)
    Today's NYTimes food section hs an article about Absinthe. themost interesting part is where it is explained that the name comes from the Greek for "undrinkable". some of the Absinthes described in the story seem close to Akavit - with a bit more of anise involved than usual. anyway, I've had my fill of the stuff from may years ago - ut I still likea bit of Pernod from time to time.

    Cheers, John
    #22
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 11:12:42 (permalink)
    Looks as though if we don't all hit the absinthe this week we're going to be totally passe. The Boston Globe (owned by the NY Times) did its own article on absinthe in today's food section.

    Anyone for a Harvey Wallbanger?

    #23
    BT
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 11:20:33 (permalink)
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/05/MNQJTO9FM.DTL&tsp=1
    Excerpt:
    quote:
    Last week, St. George Spirits of Alameda (CA) received the news that, after seven applications, the federal agency had approved its label, the final obstacle before going to market. On Monday, the small artisan distillery sold its token first bottle, becoming the only American company since 1912 to sell absinthe in the United States.


    #24
    tmiles
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 13:30:31 (permalink)
    Saw it on the History Channel last night. I'd try a sip of the good stuff, but wouldn't go out of my way.
    #25
    improviser
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 13:53:57 (permalink)
    My college roommates and I went in on a box of absinthe bottles one year. 4 for 100 bucks, orderd from the Czech Republic.

    One bottle broke in the mail, so our apartment was enveloped in an unholy stink the moment the box was opened.

    Of the remaining three bottles, I still have one. We tried everything to make it palatable and drinkable: the water and sugar cube, setting it aflame, everything. The taste (licorice and fire) and the color (a dark, dark, evil green) never changed.

    At the last party I had, some friends of mine were mixing it with crappy lemonade. They insisted it was good. I kept waiting (I'm still waiting) for them to mutate into some kind of Lovecraftian sea monsters.
    #26
    tiki
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 16:06:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    It was illegal--BUT---back in 73 when i lived in Norlins there where a couple of places where it was still available to a few folks---it was an essential in making a real Cajerac---Killer cocktail!!!!


    New Orleans has a famous substitute: Herbsaint. You sure that wasn't what you were drinking? Reading the Wikipedia article linked back at the top of the thread, I got the impression in 1973 real absinthe--with wormwood or thujone--wasn't even being made.

    The Sazerac Cocktail

    1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar)
    3 - 4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
    2 ounces rye whiskey (most New Orleans bars use Old Overholt)
    1/4 teaspoon Herbsaint, a New Orleans brand of anise liqueur
    (You may use Pernod, or some other pastis or absinthe substitute)
    Strip of lemon peel

    Pack a 3-1/2 ounce old fashioned glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, moisten the sugar cube with just enough water to saturate it, then crush. Blend with the whiskey and bitters. Add a few cubes of ice and stir to chill. Discard the ice from the first glass and pour in the Herbsaint. Coat the inside of the entire glass, pouring out the excess. Strain the whiskey into the Herbsaint coated glass. Twist the lemon peel over the glass so that the lemon oil cascades into the drink, then rub the peel over the rim of the glass; do not put the twist in the drink. Or, as Stanley Clisby Arthur says, "Do not commit the sacrilege of dropping the peel into the drink."




    I'm SURE! downstairs in the PUBLIC bar, you got Herbsaint---UPSTAIRS--in the private key bar where the cooks bartenders and locals hung--it was was a bit looser and the drinks where freepoured!
    #27
    drummagick
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 16:33:35 (permalink)
    Back in my early 20s, I made a batch of absinthe. My then-partner and I each had a shot and boy oh boy, it was an interesting high. But it tasted HORRIBLE, I didn't research it enough to know you're supposed to drip water over a sugar cube into it. Not that it probably would have helped any. That stuff tasted bad, and however interesting the high, wasn't worth it. I threw the rest away.
    #28
    Greyghost
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/05 19:24:40 (permalink)
    There are some interesting true confessions here about a product that has been illegal since 1912. As anything that has been banned for so long a time, interest is great and the price seems to be greater. At about $80 a bottle I will decline for now as it is above my pay grade.
    For that price I will get two bottles of Laphroaig Scotch, my favorite.

    I still want to try Absinthe though, probably by the glass in a good bistro.

    I don't do true confessions, but I once had a friend that loved Scotch Old Fashioneds in the '60's. He had a recipe that could not be beat. It was pretty standard starting with the sugar cube saturated with bitters. Everything was standard except for the sugar cube which had a Leary aspect to it. One of these and you would not only see the Green Goddess, but many other interesting things as well.

    I can only imagine if this sort of thing was done with Absinthe if it was legal in the '60's.

    What the result would have been? I don't think it would have been any different from the Leary Old Fashioned, but it might have been more fun for certain hedonists.
    #29
    BT
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    RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/06 03:40:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Greyghost
    [
    I still want to try Absinthe though, probably by the glass in a good bistro.



    May I recommend:



    It's one of my favorite places in SF: http://www.absinthe.com/
    #30
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