Today's article is sponsored by the green fairy and the lovely people over at Buy Absinthe. For those of you who have no idea what that's supposed to mean, I'm talking about the alcoholic beverage known as absinthe.
If you know what absinthe is you are no doubt wondering what its connection to Japan and this site could possibly be. If you don't know what it is, here's a quick summary:
Like I said, absinthe is alcohol, a liquor to be exact. It's made from various herbs, but most notably wormwood, fennel and anise. It is extremely potent, sometimes with an alcohol content of 70%. It gained notoriety by being banned in most of Europe and the US in the early 1900's because it contains thujone, an addictive, psychoactive drug that can be quite dangerous in high quantities. However the level of thujone in absinthe produced today is actually well within the acceptable limits for legal and safe human consumption. These days the ban has mostly been lifted and absinthe is making a comeback. Still have questions? Find out more information here: Read on Absinthe blog.
Ok so with that said, I can now answer your first question. Absinthe has no real connection to Japan or this site but that didn't stop Buy Absinthe from asking me to do a paid review of their product. Yeah! Living the web designer's dream! It's not a lot of money, but hey, it's a small step in the right direction.
Buy Absinthe has a well ordered website where you can buy absinthe and have it shipped anywhere in the world, providing of course it's legal in the country you live in. Best to check that out before you place an order. Although their selection is fairly small, they purport to only carry the highest quality brands available.
So what's a review without a little taste test? Here's my small 100ml bottle of Absente (55% alcohol) made in France. Highly recommended by the people at Buy Absinthe! So far so good!
When you drink absinthe, you must follow the 'ritual'. Due to it's extreme bitterness and high alcohol content, drinking absinthe straight would probably make your liver scream and shrivel up into a little ball. To properly enjoy absinthe you need some tools and extra ingredients. Probably the most important tool is a slotted spoon, which is basically a spoon with holes in it. I didn't have one of these so I improvised with my tea strainer. Not sure if absinthe purists would approve or not but it worked fairly well. Next, you need some sugar, sugar cubes preferably. Put one or two lumps on the spoon (or tea strainer), then pour the desired amount of absinthe slowly over the sugar. Next you add cold, preferably filtered, water. The idea is to add about 5-7 times as much water as absinthe, depending on the proof of the drink. Higher proof equals more water and so on.
Here I am beginning the ritual. Absinthe glasses are also highly specialized, but I had to make do with just a regular old glass.
Oh and due to chlorophyll, absinthe is a light green colour. This fact along with its believed hallucinogenic properties has lead to it's being refered to by the nickname the 'green fairy'. Hmm, am I about to get high?
After you begin slowly pouring the water (they say to add it drop by drop) you'll notice the drink starting to cloud up. This is supposed to happen so don't panic. Apparently this louche as it's known, is the result of the various herbs that are not soluable with water 'blossoming', so as to improve the flavour of the drink even more. After you mix it a bit with a spoon, you're ready for a taste!
So? Well on first sippings, the taste is very comparable to sambuca or ouzo in that it has that strong taste of licorice, although absinthe is sweeter and easier to drink due to the added sugar. Not bad at all! The taste is clean and refreshing. However, I didn't find it as amazing as absinthe lovers would have you believe either. Perhaps it's an acquired taste like beer or whiskey? I'll have to drink a couple more glasses and see. Other effects? I definitely didn't see any fairies, speak to god or have any other kinds of hallucinations. After all, absinthe made nowadays is really just another kind of alcohol, not a drug. So enjoy!
Curious and want to buy absinthe for yourself? Well Buy Absinthe can take care of all your absinthe needs, so why not order up a few bottles and get in on the action?
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