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About Luisito

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  • Birthday 08/11/1972

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  1. That makes it official, you are definitely one of us now. Well... it was very hard for me to digress that much, that's so not me. I have a confession to make, I did it just to fit in!
  2. As far as I am informed, Luisito is right. I have not heard anybody call the drink "ajenjo". It's funny how some words (or some meaning of some particular word) fall into disuse in European Spanish but remain in use in Latin America. That's what happened with the word "ajenjo". In fact, the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (which is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language) defines "ajenjo" as both the herb and the beverage. In the entry for "absenta" it does not provide a definition for the word; it just states that "absenta" is a loanword borrowed from Catalan and refers the reader to the "ajenjo" entry for the definition as the beverage. I acknowledge that I might be a little biased toward the use of the word "ajenjo" to refer to the beverage in Spanish. There are a couple of reasons for this (apart from what the "official Spanish dictionary" says) As LadyCarmilla pointed out, no one in Spain would call the beverage "ajenjo", but in Latin America it is used in that sense (at least by the people who know something about the history of it). Every literary reference to the booze that is more than twenty years old will be speaking of "ajenjo", and not of "absenta" (again, in Latin America). As someone that grew up in a family of tango lovers I read an heard many references to this mythical beverage called "ajenjo"; therefore, the word "absenta" sounds odd to me. The other thing is this: today (at least in the English speaking absinthe world, and please some native English speaking absintheur correct me if I'm speaking B.S.), when you read "absenta" you don't think of just absinthe spelled in Spanish. The word "absenta" now defines a style of absinthe, the typical Spanish style, i.e. heavy on the anise and with very noticeable citrus notes (good amount of lemon balm and coriander). So, to me "absenta" carries an assumption of a certain style that "ajenjo" does not have. It's like when a good German absinthe is looked down on just because the German spelling for absinthe is "absinth" (without the "e"), and you automatically think of czechsinthes... ... ... ... Although now that I read what I just wrote, it seems that I'm over-analyzing things a little too much... And it is certainly off-topic. Anyway... sorry for the blah blah...
  3. Hi sardonix... thanks for the welcome! I haven't seen absinthe Camargo on the shelves here in Argentina, but I had the opportunity to try it in Brazil... it was just one glass and in a situation in which I could not be very "rigorous" with the tasting (it was at a social gathering, in a bar), so I can't be very specific. What I can say is that I did not particularly enjoyed it. It is artificially colored (stated on the label, and very noticeable) and to me, the wormwood and the anise seemed very unbalanced (to the wormwood side), and hence there was a very faint, almost non noticeable, louche... I really can't say more because I was not on "rigorous tasting mode", but rather on "enjoying the party" mode.
  4. I will, definitely! I've been doing quite a bit of research... Once I finish organizing the info, I will come up with a series of posts about the history of absinthe in Argentina and the impact it had on the Argentine culture of the early 20th century... Thanks to all for the warm welcome! Luisito
  5. Welcome (from another newcomer), LadyCarmilla! Ain't that a shame that we must come here and speak (write) in English because there are not good online resources about absinthe in Spanish? En realidad, ¡no sé por qué dije todo eso en inglés! (reglas de etiqueta, supongo). Anyway, ¡bienvenida al foro! Luisito
  6. You're right, Miguel!... well, at least today... Traditionally, in Spanish, "ajenjo" used to refer to both the herb and the booze (like "absinthe" in French). A more or less recent incorporation to the Spanish language is the word "absenta", to refer to the booze. This word is borrowed from Catalan (in which it also means only the booze). So the word "ajenjo" was relegated to refer only to the herb. But, like I said, it's more or less recent. That is why in the classic works of Spanish literature you will not find any reference to "absenta" and the word "ajenjo" is used to refer both to the herb and the beverage. It's also related (to some extent) to the location of the speaker. In Spain, no one will refer to the beverage as "ajenjo"; but in Latin America, some (especially the elderly) might use "ajenjo" along with "absenta" to refer to the beverage (and of course, the plant's name is always "ajenjo"). Hope that helped. Luisito
  7. Hello to everyone! After lurking anonymously for some time I decided to jump in… As the topic title says, I am from Argentina and have been an absintheur for quite some time… I was fascinated by the history of absinthe long before I could actually put my hands on a glass of it. Once I could finally taste it, what was just a teenage crush on the idea became deep, everlasting love with the real thing… But it is really hard to be an absinthe enthusiast here, in the bottom of the World. Only a few European brands make it here, and certainly not the good ones… only industrialized, artificially colored brands. Not to mention some “bohemian” absinths (yes, without the “e”). So I have to order online (and shipping to Argentina is expensive!) or rely on the good will of friends and acquaintances that travel to Europe or the US from time to time... And, honestly, I’m starting to become paranoid that they will end up killing me in my sleep if I continue to bother them with this (I’m not buying their sarcastic “yes, of course, I will be delighted to bring your precious bottle of absinthe” any more). Anyway, Argentina has a rich absinthe tradition. In fact, it was the only South American country in which absinthe was made (and one out of three Latin American countries, along with Mexico and Cuba). Absinthe was a recurrent theme in the literature of late 19th century and early 20th century, particularly in tango lyrics… It really became a part of tango mythology. Here, the ban on absinthe took place in the early 20’s, and was lifted in 2009, but the lift on the ban happened very quietly, there was no law change involved, just a single article of the “Código Alimentario Argentino” (“Argentine food code”) that was repealed. It’s because of that that, to most people here, the legal status of absinthe is, at best, blurry; when in reality there should be no doubt, absinthe is legal again. That misinformation is taken advantage of by unscrupulous importers and vendors, who resort to using all of the “classic” gimmicks in order to advertise what they sell (“high thujone content”, “mind bending”, “psychoactive”, and so on)… I’m so tired of the fact that many, especially the young, are sort of fascinated by this “new” fashionable and exotic drink that comes from Europe, without realizing that there is no need to create a new (and fake) tradition, but to rescue and bring back an old, very rich one… Well, I hope that this first post was not too long and boring! Greetings again from the Southern Cone Luisito