Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Auto Verseur" Dripper

Antique style see-saw dripper (brouilleur) at The Absinthe Spoon (part of the Oxy megasite) hinges back and forth as the water dribbles out of the reservoir.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Flirting with the Forbidden"

Travel + Leisure Magazine article on "forbidden" delicacies and the way they got that way: ortolan (crazy eating ritual! See image), beluga caviar, foie gras, rare hamburgers, raw dairy, ibérico ham, trans fats, no live lobsters at Whole Foods (sheer idiocy)... and, of course, absinthe. From the article:

The problem with legislating eating habits isn’t just that the rules are often arbitrary. It’s that there’s no obvious place to stop. Food is intrinsically dangerous—for God’s sake, you put it in your mouth. This is the risk one assumes with the blessing and burden of having an appetite.

Via Alan at the Wormwood Society forums.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Q: Does absinthe really cause hallucinations?

A: NO! Check out this concise article at "howstuffworks" with the right words in bold face: 110 to 144 proof, wormwood, distilled, thujone, chlorophyll, and they put the thujone in its place:

By the end of the distillation process, there is very little thujone left in the product. Modern science has estimated that a person drinking absinthe would die from alcohol poisoning long before he or she were affected by the thujone. And there is no evidence at all that thujone can cause hallucinations, even in high doses.

Via Selmac on the Wormwood Society Forums.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Absinthe Antiquities

mthuilli has offered up a few antique hand-blown glasses and other paraphernalia at the Wormwood Society forums, though I was too late and someone else scored this incredible (perfect?!) example. The cordon glass may still be available.

Perique Liqueur de Tabac

While not absinthe, Perique Liqueur de Tabac is a Perique tobacco-based liqueur, the newest product from Jade Liqueurs and another exploration of rare flavors by Ted Breaux, available now from Absinthe Online. Read what Mr. Breaux has to say about it in the Wormwood Society forums.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New York Times article

"Trying to Clear Absinthe’s Reputation" is an informative fluff piece on absinthe and champagne in the form of a "cocktail profile," the cocktail being Hemingway's absinthe+champagne concoction mentioned in “Death in the Afternoon”.

I'm not sure how Hemingway's recipe could help shake absinthe's bad rep, but the article is well researched and has a good all-inclusive paragraph on history and "dangers" suitable for cutting-n-pasting-n-mailing:

Absinthe became tremendously popular throughout Europe in the 19th century. It was blamed for causing hallucinations, mental instability and criminal behavior, which medical authorities attributed to thujone. This belief helped get absinthe banned. But according to the new study, by Dirk W. Lachenmeier and colleagues, the modern medical consensus is that absinthism was either simple alcohol poisoning — some absinthes were 70 percent alcohol, nearly double the strength of most distilled drinks — or caused by methanol and other toxic adulterants found in some cheap absinthes.

Modern Marvels covers Absinthe

The Discovery Channel replayed the Modern Marvels "Distilleries 2" episode a few days ago, covering whisk(e)ys, tequila, and a few other spirits, including a nice segment on absinthe. Lots of footage of Mr. Breaux-- Jade Liqueurs PR is doing a great job of getting the ambassador in front of the cameras. Watch it on YouTube.