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Everything posted by britgeekgrrl

  1. There was a small goth contingent at the event, too - around here, the fandoms/geekgroups overlap a lot, but they weren't terribly interested in "Pancho's Crosstime Cantina" - their loss! I've heard a lot about NorWesCon - I have a few friends up in Seattle - and should I ever make the trek up north, I'd probably time it to coincide with that event. I'll keep you posted. - Johanna
  2. I've been meaning to post this one for a while... This past October, a friend of mine and I decided to host a room party at a local SF/F convention. For those of you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, suffice it to say that a theme is decided upon, the doors are thrown open to other guests of the convention, and drinks are served. Unfortunately, my co-host had a severe money crunch right before the convention and, rather than cancel a party that we were looking forward to hosting, I was moved to think of ways to raise an extra hundred bucks or so, to cover my friend's half of the costs. Enter, my 1/3 full bottle of Jade Nouvelle Orleans (gotta admit, I was greedy and left my fave, the Edouard, at home). I let it be known that I was willing to share small measures of this divine stuff in exchange for a certain contribution towards party costs. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my Pontarlier glasses before the party, so I was serving up measures in hotel tumblers but, what the hell, it worked. Thing is. In order to receive their drink, the imbibers had to listen to Britgeekgrrl's Story of Absinthe (condensed version - quick history, what's in it, what it tastes like and mythbusting), agree that they understood this stuff was not going to make them trip balz, and that if they wanted to learn more, they had to come by this website. To my (pleasant) surprise, everyone (er, barring one loud, drunk, will-this-make-me-high? exception) listened to the lecture with great interest, asked smart questions - why did it have a hallucinatory reputation, why didn't I set fire to the sugar, why is it of dubious legality in the US etc, etc - and all very much enjoyed their drachms of Jade (as I didn't have much, and these folks were too used to the potency, I offered small portions unless the imbiber assured me that they'd had it before...) One party photog snapped this pic of me as I was preparing a glass - http://www.dragonsgate.net/photopost/showp...3197&page=1 - I'd hyperlink, but it seems that my version of Mozilla doesn't like the scripts on this board. The pic immediately preceding it is of me watching a person's reaction to their first taste. That's my "Oh dear, I hope they don't spit it out" face. They didn't. Yes, I used a paper cup to drip the ice water, cos I don't own a fountain and the whole idea was cobbled together that morning. I'm lucky I had an absinthe spoon in my luggage... The paper cup worked extremely well, in fact, and I was able to produce a very slow trickle and occasionally pause and show the louche to awaiting folks (to admiring oohs and aahs, I might add) (and if you're wondering about the costume, it's a Doctor Who thing) Once word got around that a party had "real absinthe", the last of my Jade practically vaporized - although it took some time, with my giving the lecture with every round. I'm pretty certain I converted a few people to the path of Better Absinthe, and over the course of the convention, I received a few thankyous and inquiries as to the next steps a neophyte absintheur should take ("Go to wormwoodsociety.org...") Better yet, another party the next night had some really crappy Czech stuff in their room and I heard some mutterings of "Not nearly as nice as the absinthe I/we/you tried last night..." I tried a bit of it out of morbid curiosity. It was like Listerine and, lo, I was smug. Smugness all 'round, forsooth. And, oh yeah, we cleared the cost of the party. The attendees have been asking if that party will be returning at the next big SF/F con, which it will be, and I'm giving thought to having another bottle of decent absinthe on hand (although I doubt my budget will stretch to Jade) to keep spreading the word. Fen. You just can't keep them away from a green drink! And that's my story of absinthe evangelism in the wilderness. - Johanna PS The drunk guy seeking porkchop nirvana (he got a hold of someone else's glass) has promised to put me in his autobiography as "the hot british chick who introduced me to absinthe". I don't think I want to be in his book, thankyerverymuch!
  3. I've just kissed the last of my disposable income goodbye, haven't I? - Johanna
  4. Might as well follow up my mention of L'Artisinale, as promised. I ordered this out of sheer curiosity. After banging the drum around the "Dude! That stuff makes you hallucinate, right?" crowd and talking to folks about the difference between vert and blanche and for god's sake, get that Serpis stuff AWAY from me (more on my latest adventures in Porkchop Land in another thread) when the Emile Rouge was announced, well, heck, I just had to try it. It's...different, that's for damn sure. Out of the bottle, it's a light fruity scent, not nearly as strong as the Jade I poured earlier. My cats gave the aroma a six out of ten (for going crazy at the scent of anise, as they always do - they give Jade an 8.5) and, for a change, didn't try to stick their heads into the glass as I dripped the ice water. (my cats are an unavoidable part of the absinthe ritual, what can I say?) The color before the louche was quite pretty, after the louche it was gorgeous! A pale pinkish red, with a hint of lavender, throughout, most noticeable in the top layers. It was almost opalescent, I thought. Far, far prettier than I had expected based on photos other tasters had posted. The flavor is... wow... different. Very light on the anise, but quite herbal and positively earthy, I thought. The floral factor from the hibiscus seems to sneak up, being its most prominent at the finish, and being quite the counterpoint to the earth tones. After the first few moments, I could hardly taste anise. I honestly don't know enough about the single notes of the ingredients to tell y'all which I thought was more prominent than the others, other what I noticed by its absence. It's certainly the most 'different' absinthe I've tried since I got serious about trying the good stuff (mind you, I've only tasted about a dozen, so far) and I'm still not entirely sure that I like it. Unlike my usual tastes, I much prefer this with a little sugar - about half a cube with a full glass - as without it, it's a little too tart and musty. Yeah, musty. But in a "you could learn to like me, because I'm a nice snug little root cellar" musty not "Don't mind the body parts on the floor, just get on the meathook" musty. (sorry, I've been reading horrorfic all day) So my conclusion is that I think it's a very interesting experiment, and something that some drinkers - particularly those looking for an absinthe a bit lighter on the anise - are going to love, but I'm not yet decided if I'm one of them. However, the aroma and the color are divine, and I'm glad to have it in my pantry for that reason, alone! - Johanna
  5. *nod* I'm really hoping there's more L'Artisinale coming in the future because, man oh man, I'd be a regular customer - and I doubt I can make my half-bottle last too long! - Johanna
  6. So, a pal of mine and I went in together on a bottle of L'Artisinale and my reaction to my first taste can be summarized as: THUD. As in, that was me fainting from sheer delight. Dammit, why do I have to like something so frelling rare! I'm not as versed in the review language as y'all, but I can say this much. Out of the bottle, it was a lovely green somewhere between peridot and that greenish color of really fresh olive oil. The louche very much reminded me of Jade's Edouard, but a little creamier in color, and without the hint of blue that I always see in the Jade. The flavor was herbal, rich and smooth, very, very smooth. Strong anise nose, but not as pungent as some - if that makes sense. I tried it without sugar and, with, and I prefer it unsugared but that's just me. I know I'm a bit odd in that regard. I only treated myself to a tiny taste, with the Jade on the table for comparison and whilst I love the Jades, I'd marry this L'Artisanale stuff. - Johanna PS, I got the Emile Rouge in the same shipment. I'll post my thoughts on that when I find the thread for it...
  7. Mine had a red seal, but the seal shattered in transit. Better than than the bottle though, I guess. And now I've got to wait until Saturday to meet up with my buddy and try this lucious stuff. ARGH! - Johanna
  8. It was, hooray! Good ol' flying monkeys! Now I"ve got to get together with my buy-in buddy as soon as possible so that I may open these lovely bottles and satisfy my curiosity. - Johanna
  9. All this talk of peoples' orders arriving has me oozing jealousy! Still, maybe I'll be lucky and the Flying Monkeys were extra speedy over the weekend, although I don't really expect to receive the order before Weds. If I'm *really* lucky, the bloody postman won't leave the box on my doorstep in the rain... (and god help me if I have to go to some depot to leave a signature. I was lucky enough to be home the last time the monkeys swung by...) - Johanna
  10. *sobs* However, I just placed an order for the L'Artisiane and the Emile Rouge. What the heck, my hubby doesn't see the credit card bills, anyways and I'm splitting it with a pal. - Johanna
  11. That's a very good point and one that had escaped my attention as I'm sneaking on to the net at work (naughty britgeek!). *amends shopping list* - Johanna
  12. I'm feeling daring, so I'll probably be ordering the Emile Rouge just as soon as I can decide what I want the second bottle in my order to be (and what the credit card can stand!). Reviews as events warrant, natch. - Johanna
  13. My mother used to make a fab peach sorbet with peach schnapps. I'll have to try the reduction on baked apples some time, as that sounds exceedingly delicious. A shame this brand under discussion isn't widely available in the US. I'm tired of the deKrupyer's muck in the grocery store... - Johanna
  14. I'll never know, as Ruplemintz makes me rather ill, to put it politely... I'm definitely liking the LMV, tho'. My pals will be lucky if there's any left when I see them. - JM
  15. First article, v. interesting. Second article... I think I sprained something in my head. What a pile of tripe. The things some people do to make money - and I'm referring to both the journalist and the subject of the article, there. God help me, I know at least one of the guests at an upcoming absinthe tasting which I'm attending is a big fan of Czechsinthe and the Czech ritual. I wish I could disillusion the lad, but he's stubborn. But if he thinks he's going to get a lighter anywhere NEAR a bottle of Jade, he's in for a disappointment... - Johanna
  16. Startlingly close to the truth - my husband's implied as much, in a much nicer way, of course... - Johanna
  17. ...right until he knocks the bloody glass over, that is. - Johanna
  18. Succinctly put, sir, thank you! I'll look out for HB when I have more lead time (ie, can order it by mail) but, for now, I must admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by the LMV. And, amazingly enough, the scent of pastis saturing the study hasn't set off my husband's "It smells like licorice, kill it!" reflex (he had a very, very bad run-in with Jaeger at an impressionable age) whereas we have a deal that I *must* stay downwind (and brush my teeth and gargle) every time I drink absinthe.... - Johanna PS - my Siamese cat just jumped on the desk and went absolutely NUTS over the remanining dribble of pastis in my glass. He went crazy sniffing at it, around it and, eventually, started trying to "cheekrub" (mark) the glass out of existence. Great, I know what to distract him with next time I'm trying to take a nap (he's a very demanding cat)
  19. Too late! I'm sipping La Muse Vert as I type this. I like it, although I'm not a qualified-enough imbiber to describe why with much eloquence. I find it much "lighter", overall, than absinthe and I can see how this is a lovely drink for a warm evening - it's about 90 degrees in my house at the moment (oh, how I wish for a/c!) and I'm finding it plenty refreshing. The critusy-tone I'm smelling probably doesn't hurt, either. But it just doesn't have the complexity of absinthe, does it? However, I like this stuff on its own merits. I almost bought a bottle of Herbsaint (and saved myself $17) but then I noticed that it has artificial coloring and I broke out in a rare rash of snobbery (says the woman who cheerfully admits to drinking La Fee - so you'll agree such snobbery is a *rare* thing) and decided to treat myself to the LMV. I like it quite a bit. My friends on Saturday will be lucky to get a taste! Shin: why do you recommend Arak? Or are you just teasing me and I'm missing the joke? - Johanna PS - my local BevMo didn't have Prado, otherwise I'd have given that some serious thought...
  20. Wiki's Thoughts on Pastis I'm afraid that's the sum total of my knowledge of the stuff - plus what I've gleaned here at WS, of course. - Johanna
  21. I'm not looking for a "subsitute" for absinthe, but rather something to offer as a contrast and, in fact, I won't consider it a Bad Thing if the imbibers present realize through their own experience that there really isn't any such thing as an absinthe substitute - far more effective than my telling them so, non? Enabling this shred o'enlightenment is a part of my Cunning Plan to get a few of my friends hooked on absinthe, so I can have a couple of 'em regularly participating in shared-purchases from Europe. (Financial) misery loves company, after all. - Johanna (edited for homonymic goofiness)
  22. No argument here, I'm sure you're quite correct. God knows, there once was a time when I thought Sebor was a viable absinthe - experience brings wisdom and all that. But curiosity is one of my ongoing motivators in life and, heck, I've liked pastis in the past, so I don't think I'll begrudge it any space in my liquor cabinet after the drinkup - I doubt there'll be any of the Jades left for me to call dibs on! - Johanna
  23. Thankyerkindly, Bill. I see that simply typing "pastis" into the search box at BevMo.com does NOT produce optimal results. *grin/sigh* - Johanna
  24. As I mentioned in my original post, I'm probably limited to the four brands I named, but I'll jot down your recommendation, just in case I get lucky at my local BevMo. - Johanna
  25. Howdy all, I'm giving some thought to picking up a bottle of pastis to take an upcoming absinthe tasting, as some of the attendees have been asking about the difference (in flavor, not just ingredients) between pastis and absinthe. Rather than trying to describe it, I thought it'd be much easier to demonstrate it. However, sources o'pastis are a bit scarce in my neck of the woods (suburban East SF Bay) and I'm on short notice (drinkup is this weekend), so I've resorted to looking at my local BevMo for whatever they have on offer. Unfortunately, my choices are limited to the four that *might* be on the shelf in my shop: Pernod, Granier Mon Pastis, Pastis Prado and La Muse Verte If you happen to have a reccomendation of any of these over the others, based on experience, please let me know - otherwise I'll default to Pernod as it's most likely to see continued usage in the liquor cabinet (and I've a few recipes that call for it too - just not ones I cook all that often). I've found the house review on Granier from a year ago, which included a tangential mention of Prado (someone was planning to taste that, but no review posted) and that's about all. Does anyone have 2 cents to add to that old thread? Despite saying I'll default to Pernod if I have to, I'm quite keen on trying something new, hence my seeking-out of reccomendations. I just wish the liquor store had a few more offerings on hand but, oh well, that can't be helped... Cheers, Johanna