Truth and Lies about Absinthe

Mr. Vagabond and I have been spying a bottle of legal Absinthe in a local liquor store for a couple of weeks. This past weekend, we forked over $70 and bought it. And so begins the tale...
We were completely giddy with the idea of it all. After our purchase, we hopped into the truck and started plotting our wonderful evening-to-come. While sitting at the very swank Sonic having burgers for dinner, I pulled the Absinthe out of the bag. Two neon green eyes were the only decoration on the glossy, black bottle and they looked as though they had secrets to tell. Secrets that we would only learn while sipping that famous concoction.
We grinned and talked about how exotic it would be, drizzling the liquor over that little lump of sugar and watching it dissolve into something just this side of heaven. We even joked that we would probably wind up having to make an Absinthe allowance in our budget in the future.
We stopped off to get a bag of ice, since the refrigerator is acting more like a cooler these days, so that we could have perfect icy cold water to add to our glasses. Although we don't own any delicate crystal and there's nary a slotted spoon to be found in our house, we figured it would still work ok using iced tea glasses and a fork. Hey - forks have slots! Well, kinda.
We arrived at home and Mr. Vagabond harnessed up the doggie for her evening potty break. We wanted to make sure nothing interrupted the Absinthe experience once it began, so getting the potty break out of the way was critical to that evening's success.
And finally, it was time. Hubby put ice in the blender with Smart Water - not any old water would do - and whirred it up until it was perfect. Shoving a couple of dirty glasses out of the way, I cleared a spot on the sink counter for the two clean glasses. I read the bottle again and learned that I had it backward. 1.5 ounces of Absinthe added to the glass, sugar cube on top of the slotted spoon (ok, it was a fork) and 2 - 3 ounces of ice cold water dripped slooooooowly over the sugar cube. The bottle explained how the potent aroma of herbs would quickly fill the room as the water mixed with the Absinthe. Also, we were to watch for the "loosh", which is apparently the technical term for that magical, opalescent reaction when the two liquids mix. "Looshing", they call it. Technical term.
I filled a pink measuring cup with 1.5 ounces of Absinthe for each of our glasses, poured it in, carefully rested a fork on the rim of one glass and placed a sugar cube on the fork. Another pink measuring cup held the ice water and unfortunately that proved to be a very messy way to pour. Why can't my measuring cups also have spouts? Oh well.
As the water trickled over the sugar and into the glass, it did swirl around beautifully and the Absinthe became cloudy. Cloudy = looshing? Huh. The room was completely filled with the strong scent of Anise. Not one of my favorites, I might add. My entire kitchen smelled like the original "Green Death Nyquil" tastes. Trying very hard to not recall memories of my last bout with the flu, we prepared the second glass.
We grinned like fools at each other with obvious ideas running through our heads about how very elegant we were, standing in the kitchen with the painted plywood floor and no real kitchen cabinets to speak of. We went into the living room and hesitated for just a moment before that first sip.
Raising the glasses to our anxious mouths, we looked at each other, as if for luck, as we took our first sips. Oh my GOD. The look on his face couldn't have been as bad as mine, but it was probably close. This was the most repulsive stuff either of us had ever tasted. And we were drinking it on purpose! This was way worse than lima beans at Aunt Ann's house when I was a kid. We both instantly set the glasses on the coffee table and just stared at them as if they were from Mars, and Mars has the worst liquor ever. Mr. Vagabond said something to the effect of, "Holy cow - you know, they talk about that green fairy. I think she pooped in my glass!" That's it! We were drinking fairy poo. Fairy poo that had been out in the sun on a soggy leaf for about a week!
I find it very difficult to describe the actual taste of this Absinthe. From the smell of my kitchen and the smell of the cork, one would think that it tastes strongly of anise. Not so. It was watery and very earthy, and not in a good way. Almost like someone made a weak, alcoholic tea out of my compost pile in the backyard, but there was no alcohol taste at all.
Ohhhhhh but wait a minute. You see, we did deliberately keep drinking the stuff. And then we noticed something. Something akin to being intoxicated with alcohol, but not quite. Something was a little different. "I'm feeling it - I think", said hubby, and I replied, "Me too". So what did we do? We drank every drop, wrenched our faces into many contorted positions and then raced to the kitchen for another round!
Ordinarily, even if a drink is bad, once you get the first one down the second isn't so awful. That wasn't the case here. If anything, the second was worse than the first because our stomachs were staging a full-on revolt. But we are smart, my hubby and me. We sipped between bouts with nausea, determined to get at least two glasses down the hatch.
Then it was over. We sat watching a little reality TV and my head became heavy as a boulder. Hubby sunk down in his chair little by little until he was almost horizontal. I told him, "I don't feel drunk - I feel . . . something else". He agreed, not that either of us knows what something else feels like.
I waited and wondered when the green fairy would arrive. I wanted to be filled with inspiration. I wanted to paint, hubby wanted to play his guitar--we wanted to create something brilliantly artistic that would last for generations. But she never did visit us. At least not in the living room. My best guess is that she was busy pooping into that lovely black bottle with the mysterious green eyes.

Dirty little fairy.


  1. Hilarious! I have yet to take the plunge with Absinthe. I'm glad you went first...

  2. My dreams are shattered. Here I am thinking my partaking of absinthe will result in the next Bohemian revolution. *hangs head* I'm intrigued about the earthy taste. I don't care what you say. I'm getting one.

  3. oh my word. Can't stop laughing. You know, Carole, suddenly I'm so pleased I never even tried the stuff.

  4. Maybe because it was "legal" Absinthe it was the fairy poop instead of the fairy.. *snicker*

    Too Funny!

  5. Nothing, I mean nothing tastes as bad as lima beans, but I won't be putting the theory to the test. Thanks all the same. ;)

  6. For those of you who are still considering trying this stuff out . . . well, I was going to try to think of some advice but I can't. It smells like Nyquil, but it tastes like yuck. Not sweet at all. And nothing like anise. It's so gross, my stomach still turns flip flops just thinking about it even though this happened three years ago!

  7. Thanks for sharing! I've been gathering as much "research" as possible about absinthe....I'd not come across a genuine user review of the stuff available at retail yet, so it was great to find this. I do know that the genuine absinthe is available in europe, but getting it here is expensive! There are kits available that require the user to basically make a tincture of sorts with the herbs and a filter supplied. I've read the most positive reviews about this type so far. I hope I have a better experience, especially with the taste :)

    Chris Rich

  8. I'm telling you, this stuff is awful. No, awful is to kind. Unfortunately, the appropriate word would look something like this: *&!#@*

    Go forth with much caution, friends and neighbors. I promise, it's nothing like the cool scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula where Winona Rider is sucking on a sugar cube as if Absinthe is better than chocolate.


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