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Sordid Tales
Posted by Jonathan
on 03/29/07

Interesting, if somewhat misleading, article in the San Diego Citybeat, an alternative entertainment weekly there. It describes the author's first meeting with the "Green Goddess". A little bit over the top and wrong in many ways. Hey, let's count them!

  1. It is actually not barred in many other countries. Right now, the US is about the only place around that makes it entirely illegal.
  2. A real absinthe is not, in fact, bitter.  It has plenty of other tastes, but we here at InAbsinthia have never understood the desire to describe it as "bitter"
  3. The chemical name for "wormwood" isn't "thujone". Thujune is merely a chemical released when you use wormwood.
  4. He describes its "acrid" taste. Poor fellow. Given the link he produces at the bottom, he must have had the bad fortune of actually thinking that Czech swill is absinthe. No wonder he's complaining about the taste!

He does give a nice thumbnail sketch of absinthe's lurid history. We also had never heard the story of Roman chariot riders drinking absinthe to "remind them that every victory is mingled with bitterness". And he does drink it in the correct fashion; I thought sure I was going to read about flames and all. So, all in all, we've read much worse.

San Diego CityBEAT - SORDID TALES by Edwin Decker

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There's a reference at the bottom of his article to one of the worst Czechsinthe vendors. Alarmingly this comes from a writer who seems to be (or was) a well-connected bartender.

~ by Alan on 03/29/07 09:49:46

It seems you know far more about this subject than me so I will assume you are right about the mistakes in my column. I wrote it a long time ago and remember doing extensive research on it, but hey, what do I know. I may be a well connected bartender, as Alan said, but I've never worked in a bar that served the stuff so I have no expertise about it. That's pretty much what that article was about -- the discovery and exploration of the fabled beverage. Thanks for posting it here. I'll try out the French 'sinthe you mentioned and let you know how it went.

~ by ed decker on 03/29/07 17:58:16

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