Friday, December 21, 2007

Absinthe - The Green Fairy

Absinthe, which was banned in the U.S. in 1912, was legalized this year. Video here. Another video here. Absinthe website here. Salon article here. Marilyn Manson's red absinthe ("Mansinthe") here. New Yorker article abstract here. Wikipedia article here. Buy absinthe here ($50/bottle). I've not tried it yet, though I've heard and read enough about it (including the New Yorker article in March--too bad it isn't archived yet). I guess I'll have to go out and buy a bottle.

Absinthe is a strong alcoholic liquor made from wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and many other herbs. Absinthe is a deep green drink with a very bitter taste [?]. Absinthe was very popular with 19th century intellectuals, poets and artists such as Degas, Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh and many others. Besides having a very high alcohol content (120 to 160 proof), Absinthe was also said to induce a dreamlike state, enhance creativity and facilitate artistic expression. [Source]

You're supposed to drink it diluted with cold water. I may have had it in France and not known what it was. Years ago, my elderly cousin in Paris served me a drink from a bottle and diluted it with cold water and it turned cloudy. It was very tasty and refreshing, anise- or licorice-flavored. It could have been just an anise liqueur. (I don't recall it being green to start out with.)

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