Absinthe

Everything that is not rum, whiskey or brandy & cognac.
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Baron Rupert Liberis
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Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:35 pm

To kick start the new sub-forum on other liquors I thought Absinthe would make a great one to begin with!

The Green Fairy has got to be one of the most legendary of spirits, banned, vilified and undergoing a modern revival! It is still illegal to sell it in the USA, but that law has been neatly bypassed by modern internet retailing as it is not illegal to possess or import for personal use.

I could go on and on about absinthe or absinth depending on your spelling preference or I could provide a link to an article I wrote on Absinth, it's history and a couple of links to internet retailers where you can buy it! Will have to check that I'm ok putting a link in here first though. Now where is that Count.....
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Count Silvio
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Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:54 pm

How do you enjoy your absinthe? Do you use a special absinthe spoon and a glass? Personally I'm not a big fan of absinthe, not that I've ever tasted real absinthe because of its poor availability here but I would not hesitate if given the chance to sample proper absinthe. Especially if I get to use the spoon :poppin:.

The rotgut they sell at the bars here cannot be called absinthe in my opinion as it tastes like toothpaste :nazor:. Other than that rotgut, I've had my friend offer me a little better absinthe he brought from his trip. So basically I've only sampled one brand of absinthe.
Baron Rupert Liberis wrote:I could go on and on about absinthe or absinth depending on your spelling preference or I could provide a link to an article I wrote on Absinth, it's history and a couple of links to internet retailers where you can buy it! Will have to check that I'm ok putting a link in here first though. Now where is that Count.....
You may of course post, without asking, any relevant links or links that you think we at Refined Vices will find interesting.
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Sir Niko Earl of Holm
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Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:42 pm

Great thread reviver... well done :)

Excuse my lack of knowledge, but why exactly is absinthe illegal in the states? Is there some particular ingredient in it or is the alcohol content too high?

I've had it once when I was younger, I do not recall the brand, I only know that it was extremely hard to get and made me have crazy nightmares after half a bottle of it. Classy I know but we were all young once ;)
So mote it be.

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Count Silvio
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Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:53 pm

Sir Niko Earl of Holm wrote:Great thread reviver... well done :)

Excuse my lack of knowledge, but why exactly is absinthe illegal in the states? Is there some particular ingredient in it or is the alcohol content too high?

I've had it once when I was younger, I do not recall the brand, I only know that it was extremely hard to get and made me have crazy nightmares after half a bottle of it. Classy I know but we were all young once ;)
I think its because real absinthe has hallucinogenic wormwood. I don't think the wormwood content is enough to cause any severe hallusinations though. Whole idea of absinthe is kind of a taboo because of wormwood.

The absinthe they sell here looks mysteriously intriguing.
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Baron Rupert Liberis
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Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:40 pm

Using the spoon certainly enhances the ritual aspects of absinth drinking. Though the bohemian method involves a spoon full of sugar soaked in absinth, ignited and then doused into the glass with plenty of water - not something to be recommended with absinthes above 70% alcohol if you want to keep your eyebrows! It's often argued that this is not a 'nice' way to drink absinthe and it was a way of creating an easy ritual which didn't require sugar cubes or perforated spoons.

Well, here's the link - http://www.squidoo.com/absinthe_the_green_fairy

But do remember to take it easy with this stuff, after all it did have the worst reputation of any liquor and it's said to have been a contributing factor in Van Gogh cutting his ear off!

edited to add-

It was mainly hysteria and claims that the thujone, or wormwood, content caused hallucinations, but even in the high thujone content absinthes the alcohol would probably kill you before you started to hallucinate. Their is some detail of the history and reasons for the ban in the link I have posted you may find more detail on this subject.
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Scottes
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Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:25 am

To the best of my knowledge Absinthe is no longer illegal in the US. I recently read a post about a US company producing it for the first time in some number of years. Alas, I can't think of that site now. I do know that Lucid is available in the US, and that the Wormwood Society (http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/) considers it to be Absinthe and fairly highly rated. I don't think I'll be buying a bottle any time soon, but I would try some in a bar.

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AngelSword
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:16 pm

I tried some absinthe at "Tales of the Cocktail" but didn't really care for it. I recieved another bottle but one slight taste is all I have given it. Maybe in a cocktail if I can find a good recipe.

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Count Vladimir Svareff
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Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:00 pm

I've only tried two brands of absinthe. The first (I can't remember what the brand was, unfortunately) had the strong, yet pleasant aniseed taste to it that you'd expect from absinthe. It was quite drinkable both on its own (it was only a little over 40% alcohol content) and with all the bells and whistles associated with absinthe. The other (I think the brand was "Green Fairy", funnily enough) was probably one of the most horrendous tasting substances to have ever passed my lips. It had a really awful chemical taste that overpowered any other taste the liquor may have had.

Mind you, the two absinthes were both the gimped type with lowered alcohol contents and no thujone. The strange little Portugese bottleshop around the corner has some absinthes that are supposed to be both full strength and have all the thujone you'd expect, but I'm not sure if I'd really trust it.

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Rum Runner
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Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:13 pm

A splendid thread and a very nice link by Baron Rupert. I have a first edition of Barnaby Conrad's book on the subject. It's a delightful read.

My first introduction to it in writing was a piece by H. Warner Allen in his 1954 collection of essays entitled "Through the Wine Glass". The essay is titled "Fall of the Star of Wormwood". In it he describes being in a Paris Cafe with his friend Georges Duval at 6PM on August 4, 1914 ready for their usual aperitif of "La Fee Verte ", when they were refused as the ban had just gone into effect that day. He goes on to describe how they were more horrified by that than by the very day before when the Germans declared war on France!

In the early 90's I had the chance to taste from a just opened bottle of Absinth Pernod which came out of a personal wine cellar estate. It was still remarkably fresh and potent, quickly inducing a rather tongue numbing euphoria.
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Baron Rupert Liberis
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Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:41 am

Thanks for sharing your absinthe experiences! It truly is a drink like no other!

The prize for the best description must go to Rum Runner for
tongue numbing euphoria
:)

As for Count Vladimir's Green Fairy experience that sounds as though it was a 'novelty distillation' and as removed from absinthe as budget blended whisky is from a fine malt!
There are two things a Highlander likes naked, and one of them is malt whisky.
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Single Malt Whisky[/b] A basic guide to single malt whisky I knocked up
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Count Silvio
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Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:23 am

I thought I'd post this link here that I found. Uranium glasses!
A selection of absinthe-related glassware, all made from glass dosed with uranium dioxide. Under ultraviolet light this glass
showing a characteristic vivid lime-green fluorescence. Because of its mysterious greenish tinge even in daylight (caused by
the ultra violet rays present in sunlight), this type of glassware, first manufactured in the mid 19th century, was particularly
appropriate for use with absinthe.
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forrest
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Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:37 am

AngelSword wrote:I recieved another bottle but one slight taste is all I have given it. Maybe in a cocktail if I can find a good recipe.
i do enjoy Absinthe, and i have had quite a few (20-30?)... Pre-Ban, Clandestine {la Bleue}, Czech, Bohemian, Suisse, Suisse Verte, illegal, imitations (no Thujone), regional variations, etc.
That being said the absolute best cocktails featuring Absinthe, have only hints of Absinthe (Corpse Reviver#2, Sazerac-- a Sazerac will still work without Absinthe, but the 'reviver' is lemonade without it) but one that focuses on Absinthe, that i do deeply enjoy (though admittedly it has to grow on you) is: Death in the Afternoon.. .
Thit is a grandiloquent cocktail of immeasurable proportion. . .[ Now every other recipe you read will say Champagne, and i have no qualms with Champagne. . . but This beverage was invented by Hemingway, in Spain, when the best Absinthe anywhere was made in Spain and why wouldn't he use Spanish Sparkling Wine to go along with it?? so here is my recipe...]
Death In The Afternoon
1 Shot Absinthe
2-3 Shots of Cava (chilled)
in a Flute, or a large coop.

Enjoy, and repeat.

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