Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Absinthe - A Play in One Act

Act I, Scene I

Scene: House of Shields.
Enter swarthy young fellow of dubious breeding.

Fellow: Do you have absinthe here?
Barmaid: Yeah, we have the Lucid, but we're out of the - What was it?
Barmaid looks at me
Me: Kubler.
Barmaid: Yeah, the Kubler.
Fellow: Is it real Absinthe, or that fake American stuff? I mean, does it have the wormwood in it?
Barmaid: It's the real stuff.
Fellow: Sweet! I'll have some. Me and a friend were at this other bar last night drinking some, and we were just, like, chillin' ya know? It must have been that fake American Absinthe that doesn't have any wormwood.

Act I, Scene II

Scene: Elixir.
Enter couple, seeking shelter from the heat.

Man: Is that Absinthe over there?
Ed: Yup, we have a few different kinds right now.
Man: Is it the imported stuff?
Me (internal): Oh gee, I wonder why he's asking that question.
Man (later, to his girlfriend while sipping on a glass of absinthe): The imported stuff has wormwood extract in it. That's got thujone, which is a hallucinogen. Two or three glasses of this stuff, and you're on your way to a real good evening!

Exaunt stage left, chased by a bear.

When Absinthe first became legal, I figured there would be two primary stages post-release. The first would be a fair number of people trying it, only to find that the heavy anise flavor was not at all to their liking. After that they would be devout non-absinthe drinkers. The second stage would be, for lack of a better word, education. There was no doubt in my mind that there was going to be a significant group of people who knew nothing of Absinthe other than the rumors that it would make you trip your balls off.

It seems that the balls bit is taking a bit longer to happen than I had thought, as many folks are content to chug their Absinthe not being mindful of the fact that Absinthe's clock in at around twice the proof of regular spirits. Maybe you're not hallucinating because of the wormwood, but because you're shitfaced drunk? That, coupled with the fact that many people experience a "clear headed" drunk when consuming Absinthe (essentially one is more aware than one generally is when trashed on other liquors, a clarity that is generally believed to be caused by the array of herbs used, and is not hallucinatory) it is easy to imagine some folks slipping into a psychosomatic coma of delusion and thinking that they are on the green fairy express.

Ah, fuck it. Maybe I should just move to the Czech Republic and make a fortune selling shitty, "super wormwooded" up Absinthe.

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.


erik_flannestad said...

The most amusing thing I've heard so far is that La Fee is supposedly going to release two Absinthe products in the US. A "Full Strength" version and a "Shooter Strength" version.

If that big glowing eyeball didn't underscore their commitment to quality and integrity, releasing a "Shooter Strength" version of their product certainly does.

drinkaweek said...

Shooter strength? What does that even mean, and why is anybody "shooting" Absinthe? One of the other stages I thought might happen with Absinthe would be a backlash from bar owners due to people getting blackout drink in the hopes of getting high - Thankfully that, at least, doesn't seem to be an issue that I've heard about so far.

Also, thank you for reminding me that there's an 'e' in Absinthe. Oops.

drinkaweek said...

Then I wrote drink instead of drunk. Awesome.