Monday, March 8, 2010


Ah, one of the true joys life has to offer is sipping a glass of a splendidly-crafted absinthe. So much mis-information and crap is out there: if you believe half of what you read on the net you'll think that after half a glass you'll see your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife in her teeth. Not so. Here, Lance Winters describes the effects, the myths and the production of this legendary drink.

St. George's is by far the best tasting of the domestic absinthes I've tried. Lucid is ok, and I like the convenience of having it available at the liquor store on the way home, but it's not a world-beater. Consumer tip: any brand with the word 'bohemian' on the label will taste like lighter fluid mixed with window cleaner, although not as pleasant. This is not a historically accurate absinthe at all but a clever marketing ploy when people from the Czech Republic found they could put any kind of high-octane hooch in a bottle and call it absinthe. Stay away! You should probably also steer clear of Absente Grande, which tastes like a black gumdrop. Haven't tried it, but hearing good things about Trillium, distilled in Portland, Oregon.

By far the yummiest absinthe I've ever tasted is the Absinthe Eduoard by Jade Liqueurs. It costs an arm and a leg but is astounding to drink. The internet absinthe nerds will say I'm slumming, but I also enjoy Mari Mayans, a Spanish absinthe. Absinthe has never been outlawed in Spain, so supposedly the stuff is about as historically accurate as you can get. The glow-in-the-dark color makes me wonder, though. Still, for taste, I like it a lot.

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