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About Boris

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  • Birthday 08/15/1956

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  1. Slap the bar? Good advice! Thanks! Oh, and to my fellow Michiganders: thanks for welcoming me... and if you know of any bars that carry decent absinthe and will prepare it the right way, especially in metro Detroit, please let me know. Looking forward to doing more tasting!
  2. Yeah, it happened pretty fast and I didn't realize what the bartender was doing until it was almost too late. When I caught on, I was horrified and it was all I could to to choke out the words to tell her to stop. As I said, she seemed pretty amused that we would deign to tell her, the expert, how to prepare absinthe. They don't have a fountain at that bar, yet they claim to be an "absinthe bar." It's really pretty much just a hangout for club kids. I was expecting too much.
  3. OK... I have now tried both Lucid and Kübler... sort of. I found out that there is an "absinthe bar" in my town, so my wife and I decided to check it out and order some absinthe. I figured this would be a good way to get my feet wet, so to speak. The place is in a basement, below a restaurant... it is set up to look underground, cavern-like, with a sort of "goth" feel. It turns into a nightclub for the see-and-be-seen early 20s set after about 10 pm. Not my scene at all, but... Anyway, we get there and I ask to see their selection. They have Absente, Grande Absente, LTV, Koruna, Kübler, and Lucid. Considering the selection, I asked for a Kübler and a Lucid; I figured my wife and I would share and compare. Before I knew it, the bartender had prepared each absinthe by agitating them in shakers with water! I was still puzzled when proceeded to pour more absinthe over the sugar cubes, but after she set one of the sugar cubes on fire, I yelled, "No, don't burn it!" I realized that this bartender had been trained completely wrong in how to prepare absinthe and only knew the "bohemian method." I suppose I should have expected as much. The cube was only ablaze for a second or two (it didn't caramelize) before the bartender put it out, but I felt cheated at not being able to see the louche. Somewhat disgusted, I just had her trickle some more water into each glass over the sugar cubes to achieve what I believed to be the proper ratio of H2O to absinthe. The bartender was mystified and a little put off, as we implied that she didn't know what she was doing! I guess she considered herself an expert! Still in shock, we moved to a corner, sat down, and sampled them. I'm sure they weren't as good as if they'd been properly louched, but I still enjoyed them. I found the Kübler to be a bit more subtle and, hmmm, "balanced," than the Lucid. The Lucid's anise flavor was more out front. I did like them both, though. I will be trying more absinthe soon, but prepared and properly louched in the more congenial surroundings of my own home!!! We won't be going back to that bar...
  4. I can't get the Rittenhouse BIB 100 here over the counter here in Michigan, but I should be able to order it online. I have heard great things about it. I agree that today's Overholt is watered down and a shadow of its former self.
  5. Nice to see some fellow rye lovers here. I have been using Sazerac rye in my Manhattans lately, and really enjoy it. I like the Sazerac rye straight up, too. Another bourbon that I feel makes for an excellent Manhattan is Bulleit -- it has a very high rye content, even though it is classified as a bourbon. It is a very "hot" whiskey, which I think is a plus in a Manhattan. I think that a "sweeter" whiskey, such as Maker's Mark, doesn't contrast with the vermouth enough. I'm also looking forward to making some sazerac cocktails, once I get ahold of some absinthe. Interestingly enough, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the oldest extant rye brand, Old Overholt, which is now owned by the Jim Beam conglomerate. Beam has neglected the brand (no publicity/advertising, allowing bottom-shelf positioning) and isn't doing a thing with the occasion. It's a missed opportunity, if you ask me, given the resurgence of rye in popularity. The reintroduction of a higher-end, 100-proof Overholt would be a big hit.
  6. I seem to be dredging up an old thread, but I wonder if anyone here is a fan of straight rye, like I am... I see a lot of talk about bourbon, but not much on rye.
  7. Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. I will report back after I've been able to partake of some proper absinthe. I am SO looking forward to that!
  8. Hello, everyone. Even though I'm in my early 50s, I am a raw newcomer to the world of absinthe. However... this almost-mythical drink, with its history and reputation, has always intrigued me. I didn't even know that it was now legal in the USA until a friend of mine recently bought a small bottle of Grande Absente (I know!) and split it with me. We drank it neat (I know!). OK, I will admit that I liked it. (I'm sure that all of you are shaking your heads in amazement by now.) Anyway... I now realize that I started my journey into the delights of absinthe with an inferior product, and went about drinking it in the wrong way. During the past week or so, I have been voracious in my research (which is my nature) about absinthe. I had known a little of the history, but what I have found continues to fascinate me. I was surprised about all the misconceptions associated with absinthe and wormwood/thujone, and I must say that the truth about absinthe is far more interesting than the fiction (which, I gather, is still being perpetrated in some circles). So... I will be trying my first "real" absinthe soon. Availability off the shelf in Michigan is limited to Kübler and Lucid and some others that probably aren't worth my time or money. I may try to order online, but price is an issue, at least right now. I am thinking of going with Vieux Carre, Vieux Pontarlier, or possibly Leopold Bros. I am leaning toward the Vieux Pontarlier because I think maybe it would be appropriate to start with a French product... Or, I could make it easy on myself and just try the Lucid. At any rate, it's good to be here, and I look forward to soaking up all the knowledge and expertise that the forum members have to offer.