Sunday, December 31, 2006

MacGyver's Homemade Dripper?

Ever find yourself with the good stuff but no appropriate watering rig? I got dripping in a few minutes using this setup...

Here it is set up and dripping. The drip is hidden in the inverted, chopped cup with the yellow stripe.

The key is the intersecting conical sections-- the yogurt containers act as dripping reservoir (purple stripe), a stand (yellow stripe), and a spoon for the sugar (lid). Most glass-top drippers do not have a place for the sugar.
Parts in top-to-bottom order-- reservoir/dripper, stand, sugar, lid, wire, glass.
Yes, this is "ghetto."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Burning absinthe in Paris

It doesn't appear to be a crime, sadly. Scott Joseph, restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel, compares the Absinthe Bistro in Orlando to L'Absinthe Cafe in Paris:

He brought to the table a glass, a carafe containing the liquor, a special silver-plated spoon, a sugar cube and a device called an absinthe fountain. He rested the spoon, which is flat and slotted and resembles a cake cutter, over the lip of the glass and put the sugar cube on the spoon. Then he poured the absinthe from the carafe over the sugar cube and into the glass. Then he set the sugar cube on fire, the blue flames licking into the glass.

The fire part of the ceremony, it should be noted, is more theatrics than necessary. In fact, aficionados say setting the sugar cube on fire ruins the flavor. But I was in no position to argue with the man.

Interesting to see how the "ritual" has been bastardized by Czechsinth.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nepenthes Press absinthe series

Two beautiful short volumes lovingly produced by hand by book artist Michael Waltz offered for sale at The Virtual Absinthe Museum:

Ernest Tisserand's 1922 "Éloge de la très précieuse liqueur d’Absinthe", or "Eulogy of the very precious liqueur absinthe", a slim, 8-page volume produced in a series of 100 numbered and signed copies:
a wonderfully elegiac memoir of the absinthe era that contains one of the very few contemporary references to the use of an absinthe fountain, and the first reference to home-distilled absinthe in the post-ban period. This is the first published English translation.
Also produced in a signed, numbered series of 100 copies "La Fée Verte - Poetry of Madness":
La Fée Verte - Poetry of Madness is the first of a series from the Nepenthes Press showcasing unpublished or hard-to-find literature from the absinthe era. This first volume features absinthe-related poetry by Verlaine, Rimbaud, Charles Cross, Raoul Ponchon, Gustave Kahn, Victor Hugo and August Strindberg (all in English translation), together with poetry by Marie Corelli, Ernest Dowson and Glen MacDonough.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Absinthe blogging for 1 year... that went fast! Goals for the blog for the coming year:

* Visit local distilleries and interview stillmasters: Distillery 209 (San Francisco Pier 50), Anchor (San Francisco), St. George Spirits (Alameda), Domaine Charbay (St. Helena), Essential Spirits (Mountain View), Sweetwater Distillers (Petaluma), Sarticious Spirits (Santa Cruz)...

* Visit other foreign and domestic distilleries: Pontarlier, Saumur, quelles autres? Liqueurs de France has assembled a great list of distilleries.

* Interview local herb cultivators (not of the Mendocino variety)

* Build an interactive "history of..." timeline.

* Get this thing off Blogger.

* MUST attend 2007 Absinthiades.
* AND/OR attend the 2007 Fete d'Absinthe in Boveresse.

Artemis reviews 1914 Pernod Fils

Fantastic review by Artemis of a taste of "the cache" of 76 bottles of 1914 Pernod Fils absinthe recovered "from the cellar of a descendant of a once substantial liquor distributor."

The cache appears to be depleted at this point [sniffle], but the glowing review leads one to wonder about so many points of technique... the coloring is pale-- are modern "correct" absinthes too colored/seasoned? So many questions, and a thrill to read.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ted Breaux ~ Restaurant Guys interview (Aug. 2)

This interview with Ted Breaux is posted at The Restaurant Guys, via the Fee Verte Forums.

Interesting mention of Tuthilltown Spirits distillery producing a cider vodka. Is that a Bavarian-Holstein still?

Update: Nope, the still is by Christian Carl.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

a fountain...

...can be a slippery slope on a sunny afternoon with not much to do... a lovely, inviting, soft green slope...