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Paul Nathan does it again!

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For those who may not have noticed it, the glass of LTV didn't louche worth a darn. Clear as a bell. And why might this be, you may ask? :g:

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Just because his last name is the only thing right about the bassward fuck doesn't mean we have to refer to him as Mr. Nathan.

 

 

I'm just saying.

 

Again... Not very nice and not very accurate. And no you don't have to call me Mr. Nathan. Paul is what my friends call me. Actually that's not true. My friends call me asshole, jerk, or fatty. People who don't know me well call me Paul. You may choose whichever epithet you desire. Bassword fuck will be fine.

 

Now that we have the intorduction out of the way... What was it that I was a bassword fuck about? Be specific and I will give you a very specific accounting of what I said, why I said it, and why I believe it to be true or appropriate.

 

You're right, it definitely wasn't a nice thing to post, and I am truly sorry about being childish and offending you. I certainly wasn't expecting you to show up here and call me on that.

 

Admittedly, I didn't even watch the whole video, but skipped it to a moment mid way and saw the sugar cube being lit on fire and then a spritz of citric acid being sprayed on top. This is what the bassward fuck remark was about, because I don't like creme brulee in my absinthe, and it's not a method of absinthe preparation that we endorse here. I didn't find very nice or accurate, likewise, and was the main source of my post.

 

I don't want this post to be a provocation. I'm surprised to see you here, and welcome you to this forum and hope you will stay, despite the offenses that have been made. This forum is based on education, and if you're taking the time to come here and communicate with us, then I'll take the time to be civil and fair with you.

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Not actually disproved by Robert, but much circulated by him and the rest of the real cocktail evangelists. I think it may have been Phil Greene (a descendant of Peychaud's no less) who uncovered the newspaper article.

 

... in fairness, the man does state at the beginning that purists frown upon doing this.

I see your point, and that is something at least. But I don't think it's any more fair to characterize someone as a purist just because they frown on pointless bar stunts, than it is to characterize those who participate in an ongoing charade of general absinthe disinformation as menaces to society. Oh well, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Paul was harmless enough when he had those "absinthe speakeasy" parties here in SF a few years back. He was a bumbling fool masquerading as an aficionado even then, and the intervening years have taught him nothing.

In spite of lengthy email correspondence and phone conversations over a year ago where I gave him the real Sazerac history, among other things. This is why I call it disinformation, not misinformation. He knows better, but eschews the truth for a flashier story.

I suspect that I will regret posting here. But once again I send you a note that is far too long.

 

The only post here that actually bothered me was this one. If you take exception to something that I do or say than you have my personal email address and my private phone number as well as an invitation to call me at any time to correct or comment on anything that I say. I made that clear to you a year ago during our conversation (which I found both enlightening and enjoyable - and have been meaning to follow up on - mea culpa). Not that I mind you chastising me here but I am disappointed that you did not contact me directly either before, during or after posting to this thread.

 

So. On to the rebuttal. During our conversation you alluded to the Sazerac story. I had already read it. It was in a compendium that you had also been published in. I enjoyed both your article and the one on the sazerac, in fact I found the whole book interesting and edifying.

 

I had actually already written a note to put up in the Sazerac page explaining the controversy but it has not made its way up yet. The videos are being processed and I have been bouncing back and forth between Germany and Las Vegas doing shows. My partner put the videos up live before I expected them to go up and we did not get the change to the page up in time. It's five am here in Germany and my day started yesterday morning with four shows in Las Vegas and ended last night with two more shows here after too many plane, cab, train, and escalator rides and not enough plane sleep. I promise I'll get that up quick.

 

These videos are short. They are for bartenders to sell drinks and the idea that this is the oldest cocktail is an interesting one. The fact that there is controversy about it makes it even more interesting. The plan was to put the video up and put the information about the revelation that it was not actually the first cocktail up on the recipe page at absintheology and on the notes sections of youtube and the other video sites that we post to. I had hoped to get some of the controversy into the video but it just slowed things down and made it less interesting. My bad.

 

Unfortunately I have not had the time to find the info online or speak to the authors about adding a link to a page with the correct information (let alone repost without permission). I assure you that all of that info will be up in the next couple of days. Hopefully with a link to the authors page. I will end up re-shooting the intro to make it more accurate but I am stuck in Germany for another month.

 

As for pointless bar stunts - I just watched a room full of Germans stop dancing while a mediocer flair bartender in the nightclub here lit a couple of bottles on fire and juggled glowing bar bottles. If you want to talk about what I drink that is one thing but if want to do business than you have to put yourself in the position of the people who actually sell this stuff. They like pointless bar tricks. I have siad it before and i will say it again. If it wasn't for the Chech bartenders lighting absinthe on fire it would never have become popular again and we would have to argue about something else.

 

I don't light my absinthe on fire but I also don't spend ten minutes dripping cold water over a sugar cube. Don't sit there and tell me that you don't like cheap stunts while giving approval to people who do a slow drip in thier Swiss absinthe (there is no reason to do a slow drip if there is no sugar to drip through). It's the same thing. It's ritual. And it serves a purpose and it has a reason and it adds to the experience. and it is wonderful.

 

My favorite absinthe is Per Francious. I've been to the distillery in Couvet. He is the only distiller to dry his own absinthe plants. What do I drink? I keep a flask of Philipe Lassalle in my pocket when I go out drinking. Twenty five bucks a liter for this good but simple Spanish absinthe. Cheap enough to share with your friends, but delicious.

 

But virtually every bar manager I know has a problem with absinthe, they can't sell it. No one asks for it so no one stocks it. No one stocks it because it is expensive and no one asks for it. On top of that Bartenders don't know what to do with it. Bartenders don’t usually "sell" drinks, they make drinks that the customer asks for - Absinthe requires that bartenders get excited enough to say "hey, try this", which means that bartenders are on the front line as evangelists. Which is why I put up absintheology.com and why we post those videos. They are supposed to be tools for bartenders.

 

I'm just trying to help. Bartenders need a place to go to get simple information about what this stuff is and how to serve it. It needs to be simple for them. If bartenders don't know how to serve a drink than they won't pour it, they won't order it, and most important, they won't educate the masses. Like it or not the masses need to start drinking absinthe if the segment is to survive. You have a standing invitation to comment on my work, send me emails privately, call me, or better yet write an article (or repost if you have the rights) that will be helpful. Better yet, make a video that will help bartenders.

 

 

 

 

I doubt that many people on WWS approve of what the masses like. I know I don't. I don't like the music, I don't like the drinks, I don't like the hairstyles, I don't like reality TV but what I like or don't doesn't matter. The drink that is going to end up making the segment successful is going to end up being Le Tourment Vert and Redbull or something equally abhorrent to an absinthe aficionado. Why? Becuase bartenders understand how to pour that. Because they can sell it to thier customers and because the 21 to 28 crowd that is responsible for most drink sales in the US today will understand that absinthe and Redbull will fuck them up.

 

I don't like it. I don't like that mentality. I certainly would never drink it or recommend it to a friend - but I would recommend it to a bar manager who is looking for a great new drink special. Of course the kind of bar that would serve such a drink is the kind of bar that I don't frequent, but it is also the kind of bar that makes a ton of money. That is the reality of the situation as I see it. I believe that an absinthe energy drink could be a retail hit. I wouldn't drink it my girl friend would.

 

Does that make me a bad person? To say that I don't like this but if you do than go ahead. I don't like the Czech huffing ritual - but go to Prague and it's left right and center. The people doing it are having a blast (then passing out in thier own vomit). They come home and tell stories about getting hammered on absinthe in Prague for years. It's like magic. Who am I to disrespect their experience?

 

You don't want to burn absinthe - Fine. But you have no right to tell someone else they are an idiot just because they are having fun.

 

As for me. I put that video up so people could see how it is done. Not to encourage it. I was reporting on the phenomenon and educating people. I don't do it, don't like it, but if it is fun for someone else than I am not going to rain on their parade and tell them that they are having fun wrong.

 

You and I have spoken and I respect your opinion and your right to have an opinion that is different from mine on various issues. There is no right on wrong on this there is only opinion. I like cheap bar stunts, you don't. I don't insult for not appreciating the excitement that they bring to a given situation, please don't denigrate me for not taking a more serious approach to boozing.

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As one of the few people here who has met you, welcome, Paul! I enjoyed meeting you and I hope to meet again.

 

I'm going to let others here comment more fully, but briefly I understand your position and agree with some of it, but by no means all of it.

 

I know you need money and support to do what you do, and it's just a shame that many of those people who have supported you in the past can do so, simply because they put more money into marketing than into their product cost.

 

Let's catch up next time you are in London ... or come to Couvet again for the Absinthe Festival (June 19 - 21).

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Just because his last name is the only thing right about the bassward fuck doesn't mean we have to refer to him as Mr. Nathan.

 

 

I'm just saying.

 

Again... Not very nice and not very accurate. And no you don't have to call me Mr. Nathan. Paul is what my friends call me. Actually that's not true. My friends call me asshole, jerk, or fatty. People who don't know me well call me Paul. You may choose whichever epithet you desire. Bassword fuck will be fine.

 

Now that we have the intorduction out of the way... What was it that I was a bassword fuck about? Be specific and I will give you a very specific accounting of what I said, why I said it, and why I believe it to be true or appropriate.

 

You're right, it definitely wasn't a nice thing to post, and I am truly sorry about being childish and offending you. I certainly wasn't expecting you to show up here and call me on that.

 

Admittedly, I didn't even watch the whole video, but skipped it to a moment mid way and saw the sugar cube being lit on fire and then a spritz of citric acid being sprayed on top. This is what the bassward fuck remark was about, because I don't like creme brulee in my absinthe, and it's not a method of absinthe preparation that we endorse here. I didn't find very nice or accurate, likewise, and was the main source of my post.

 

I don't want this post to be a provocation. I'm surprised to see you here, and welcome you to this forum and hope you will stay, despite the offenses that have been made. This forum is based on education, and if you're taking the time to come here and communicate with us, then I'll take the time to be civil and fair with you.

 

 

 

 

Thanks. Not actually offended at all. And I do appreciate the apology and the welcome. I understand that you may not like the preparation of that drink. I understand that it may not be what the WWS is all about. But I didn't post it here. I posted it (actually my partner posted it) to our site www.absintheology.com and to youtube. We put it there becuase we believe that it contains information that some bartenders might find usefull.

 

Some bartenders will scoff at the citrus trick. Others will use it gleefully. We hope that anyone who watches it will take something away from it that will be of value. Ultimatley our goal is to promote absinthe.

 

I assure you that I know the difference between the various brands on the market today. I drink a variety of brands for a variety of reasons and I have my favorites. Per François for me and more descerning guests (that's my favorite for now) or Francoius Guy it' s a toss up. Phillipe Lassalle for my flask when I go out (it's a 20 ounce flask so it can be expensive to fill it up with high octane deliciousness) or for big parites. And Le tourment Vert when i am making cocktials. Say what you like about LTV. Nothing on the market in the US today mixes as well.

 

As for that particular drink. Go ahead and give me shit for it. But I honestly was taken with the flavor. I really enjoyed it. Does that make me a jerk? To admit that I liked the flavor? I don't care for most Sazeracs. Too boozy for me. But I don't usually care for most adult drinks. I do't like most martini's I dont like straight wiskey. I'm a wimp. Adding a little soda to the mix actualy cut the bite from the alcohol and turned it into a refreshing treat.

 

But I didn't invent the drink . I don't get a kickback if they selll more. I was just responding honestly to the drink that I had just tasted and the editor of the video found my response interesting and left it in. I would have edited it out.

 

As for the misinformation. I misspoke on the video. I said it was the oldest cocktaill.I meant to say "it is reputed to be the oldest cocktail" but it was a long day of shooting and I muffed it. I had planned on putting up a note on the website and on youtube giving the whole story (well more of the story) but I wanted to get permission from Mr. Greene to use his name and to put up a link to his info and had not had a chance yet to do that.

 

Sorry if my inattention to detail frustrated you.

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They say that unasked for advice can be taken as an insult, so please don't get insulted: I'd think long and hard about releasing videos, in the capacity of a paid bar consultant, that tells a bartender or bar owner to light spirits on fire. Lawyers love smoking guns, so to speak.

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As one of the few people here who has met you, welcome, Paul! I enjoyed meeting you and I hope to meet again.

 

I'm going to let others here comment more fully, but briefly I understand your position and agree with some of it, but by no means all of it.

 

I know you need money and support to do what you do, and it's just a shame that many of those people who have supported you in the past can do so, simply because they put more money into marketing than into their product cost.

 

Let's catch up next time you are in London ... or come to Couvet again for the Absinthe Festival (June 19 - 21).

Thanks Alan,

 

I appreciate your sentiment and your kind welcome. I am performing here in Germany for the next month and don't finish until after June but I hope to drop by Couvet again. I love it there. So peaceful. I go to sleep to the sound of cowbells and wake up to the sound of Churchbells.

 

As for the money. As you know absintheology.com takes ad and sponsorship money. But both my partner and myself make very good livings at what we do (me as a magician and him as a... I don't know what he does, but it must pay well because we sure don't make a lot from the site). Our sponsors believe that promoting the segment is good for them. No one gets any special treatment or nice words from us or our site becuase of ad money. Our sponsors also share our belief that if we are viewed as nothing more than an industry mouthpeice than we will be of no value to the community. Our charter is to promote absinthe. We do this by having fun and sharing that fun. Or at least we try to.

 

the site is very much a work in progress and we are very much behind becuase we both have other, more pressing gigs, but we do have a couple of very simple rules. One - have fun. Two - there is no such thing as bad absinthe. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean that it is bad (except for Lucid which is terrible). Many of the Czech brands are raked over the coals here - Fine. But a lot of people like them. I'm not going to tell you you are wrong for liking something. All I want to do is to say this is how it is made, and this is how more traditional absinthe is made. I try not to judge (it's hard sometimes) I just try to put the info out there. Three - Insult the French whenever possible. Four - we made this for bartenders. Serious absinthe drinkers can come here or can find other sources for informations. Bartenders can not sift through everything here to get the info they need. We try to deliver the info they need in a fun way. We are not always great at this becuase we are too busy with rule one.

 

I have tried to take people on tours of the places that I have been fortunate enough to have gone to in person. For some people it will be thier only tour of a distillery. For others it will be a chance to learn about options and go see for themselves.

 

We are working now on cocktail recipes because we believe that the future of the segment is in cocktails. We believe that bartenders need that info. We have some amazing cocktails coming up. As you know I love touring around, meeting people, and having absinthe adventures. In fact I still have about twenty hours of video and about five thousand pictures from Couvet last year that I have only just had a chance to get to. I hope to have all that up in the next month or so as well.

 

I have shows this week but my plan is to go to Paris or London next week and just write, edit video, and catch up on the site (which I have had to put on the back burner for far too long).

 

If I come to London I'll take you out for a drink.

 

P

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Jesus.

 

And what's with the black emo nail polish?

 

Sparkle.

 

Jared runs the absinthe bar at DNA Lounge. He had worked the night before at a goth event and had another one that night after the shoot. He very graciously took time out of his day to share some ideas with others. You may not agree with him. You may not find what he had to say useful but to insult him for posting the information that he has found useful is rude and to insult him for his nail polish is... Well. it's just insulting.

Edited by paulnathan

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Yep. It's a well known fact that soda water will exponentially increase the likeability of any cocktail, not the ingredients.

 

Having said that, it seems slightly contradictory since we require water in our beloved absinthe :huh:

 

Wait... Aren't you the same guy who just insulted Jared for his nail polish? Well I notice that you wear glasses. Jared can get rid of the nail polish... But you will still have your glasses. Smack Biatch. oooo. totally dissed. I'm just kidding. Dude the nail polish was totally stupid. We all agreed after the shoot but it was too late to do anything about it and we didn't think anyone would mind if they even noticed at all. Obviously we were wrong, as we are about so many things in this life.

 

But we were not wrong about the soda water. Yes. soda water is an ingerdient as is ice. And it changes the nature and character of the drink. Don't believe me... Try one. If you still think I am wrong than come back and say something. But don't sit there and judge my values and my taste. You don't know me and you haven't tasted the drink. Obviously, becuase if you had you would have said "wow. That soda water really cuts the intensity of the alcohol and makes this so much more refreshing." I know that becuase I tasted the damn drink and I thought "Wow. This soda water really makes this drink taste better." Than rather than insulting people behind there back I posted a video about it so that other people migh tbenefit from the experience.

 

Try the drink. Don't burn the sugar, there is too much self loathing in the world as it is.

 

P

 

PS (sorry about the glasses comment - just a joke - fuck. now I totally hate myself for being mean... I wonder if maybe you felt bad after you posted that thing about Jared's nails.... Nawww. probalby not)

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I sure wish Paul would actually learn something instead of just making things up as he goes along.

 

Most of my life I have had to make things up as I go along. When I started eating fire there was no book on how to do it. I had to make it up. Now there are youtube videos and you can't spit without hitting some firebreathing fire dancing hippy. When I wanted to learn how to make baloon animals there where no books on the subject. The library had a photocopy of the back of a baloon package that showed how to make a dog and a giraffe. I make up most of the magic tricks in my show which is why I work all over the world. I have a unique perspective.

 

When I started drinking absinthe there was no wormwood society to guide me. There was no internet as we know it today. There was a bunch of witchy chicks in SF crawling through the underbrush of golden gate park to find wormwood and soaking that in everclear with a little green food coloring.

 

And when I threw my first absinthe party no one else was doing anything like it. We had to decide what it was and how we would do it.

 

It is not as though I don't read, ask questions, search out the answers. In this video I have nothing to do with the content. Jared Williams shows how he presents a Sazerac. We clearly state that it is not for the purist. I believe it is an interesting presentation for bar tenders and I believe that some bartenders will benefit from this and that many patrons will enjoy this presentation.

 

You are welcome to disagree.

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I had never seen this guy or his videos before. No words come to mind that are not derogatory towards Mr. Nathan. Like the old saying goes, "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all"

 

...

...

...

 

So,

? I guess we've been doing it wrong all this time.

 

Has Mr. Nathan's

:shock: been posted here before. If so, please forgive my redundance. Nothing nice for me to say here either.

 

Thanks for not saying anything not nice. Your forbearance is much appreciated.

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Paul,

 

You write this about Tourment Vert on your site:

"Contains Thujone – Maximum amount allowed by US TTB"

 

There are many here who don't like hyping thujone. It encourages the gullible to drink more in the anticipation of some "high."

 

So why do you use this copyline?

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Welcome to the forum, Paul. I'm glad you're finally part of the discussion.

 

Like it or not the masses need to start drinking absinthe if the segment is to survive...

 

The drink that is going to end up making the segment successful is going to end up being Le Tourment Vert and Redbull or something equally abhorrent to an absinthe aficionado. ..

 

I don't like it. I don't like that mentality. I certainly would never drink it or recommend it to a friend - but I would recommend it to a bar manager who is looking for a great new drink special. Of course the kind of bar that would serve such a drink is the kind of bar that I don't frequent, but it is also the kind of bar that makes a ton of money...

 

As for me. I put that video up so people could see how it is done. Not to encourage it. I was reporting on the phenomenon and educating people. I don't do it, don't like it...

 

 

The underlying idea of your approach seems to be that absinthe's continued survival in the market depends on bartenders being able to sell mass quantities of it. I strongly disagree with this for several reasons.

 

First, now that absinthe is legal again, all we have to do to keep it that way is to not have another public relations melt down. There's no reason absinthe has to sell better than, say Fernet Branca Menta in order to stay on the market as a legal drink. The survival of absinthe does NOT depend on getting it into every sports bar and airport lounge in the country. In fact, I personally believe that absinthe recommended by waiters and sold as an aperitif in restaurants presents a better opportunity to grow the market for true absinthe than bars and bartenders.

 

The only thing, in fact, that can really endanger absinthe's continued survival on our shelves is a return to the public perception of it as a dangerous liquor. It seems to me that showing how to do fire stunts in YouTube videos is the surest way to make this happen.

 

I don't care that it might be possible to get a huge segment of the population to try cocktails using some random product called absinthe.

 

I have a strong interest in making sure that a huge segment of the population does not get a terribly wrong idea about what absinthe is, especially if the false image is one of a mouthwash-tasting, cheaply made product that relies on a dangerous, gimmicky preparation to gain any attention. I don't want my friends and family to watch some bartender at a rave light that stuff on fire and toss it around in big showy displays and think that that's what I've been talking about all this time. I don't want them tasting wintergreen schnapps and thinking that's my favorite drink.

 

I disagree that absinthe would never have made it to the modern market had it not been for Czech bartenders and their pyrotechnics. The fact that the current revival started this way does not mean that it was the only way it was going to happen. The name was there, along with a fascinating history and literature, waiting to be exploited. It was just a matter of time. Given the way the current cocktail culture movement has blown up in the last few years, I seriously doubt this critical ingredient in so many classics would have stayed obscure much longer. In fact, I wish it had waited a bit longer, and been revived by cocktail culture instead.

 

You say that you don't like the displays, or the czechsinthe, and that in your personal life you prefer better brands. You say you're just trying to help. But what are you helping? You're helping to promote the brands and the styles you say you don't care for. Why? Do you think that once you get every bartender in the world committed to lighting green schnapps on fire and adding it to coffee liqueur drinks, that it will somehow be easier to get everybody to stop with all that and switch to real absinthe, prepared in an adult manner? Or begin to use real absinthe in cocktails?

 

Once you get all those bartenders thinking that they know what absinthe is and how to use it, it's going to be impossible to get them, and the general public, to believe people who know the truth. You, you yourself, are aggressively teaching them the wrong idea, and it seems, from your claims about what you like to drink for yourself, that you KNOW it.

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Anyway, Paul's taking quite a drubbing here (perhaps deservedly so), but maybe he's got at least a little street cred?

I find it frustrating when someone posts a link that tries to automatically download unfamiliar files onto your hard drive. I stopped it before it did, but I saw the title, "The Bust", which I assume tracks the story of the time one of his aforementioned "absinthe speakeasy" parties got closed down by the police.

 

That was a fiasco, which he brought on himself by openly advertising that he was going to be selling illegal liquor without a license. The subject was discussed here at length, and even though he tried to make himself a counter-culture pop martyr out of the affair, most people just thought he was an idiot.

 

Wow.

So much wrong with everything Paul does, and he's found the perfect bartender to complement his "disnfotainment" series. (I love that word, Hiram) I had to skim through the other videos in his series, like "Absinthe: the Poor Man's Cocaine", or his tour of the Guy distillery, where he described how you make "absinthe soup" in a "big tank" before you boil it and catch the steam.

 

Paul was harmless enough when he had those "absinthe speakeasy" parties here in SF a few years back. He was a bumbling fool masquerading as an aficionado even then, and the intervening years have taught him nothing. But now with YouTube, he's got a chance to drop his pants in front of a global audience.

Wow Bill. Did I insult you at one of my parties? Where to begin?

 

I have said this before. I am saying this now. I am not an absinthe expert. I never claimed to be. I am out discovering the world of absinthe and sharing those discoveries with anyone who is interested. If you’re not interested than don't bother looking at the videos. If you have something constructive to add then let me know. If you just want to say mean things about other people's creations than at least be mindful of the fact that this is a public forum and you might actually hurt someone's feelings some time. Not me, and not this time, but some time.

 

I put up those videos because no one else has. No one else had a tour of an absinthe distillery online when I posted that. Not one that I could find anyway. If I had found one available already than I would not have bothered with the time or the expense of shooting the video. No one else had a video of the ingredients in absinthe. Not that I could find. But I am not an expert. Perhaps they exist in the deep dark corners of youtube or myspace video. But they didn't when we made them. If you can make a better one than please do so and I will happily post it. No one had a comparison of the different kinds of louches that you could see. I put those up to try to help people understand. I don’t call someone an idiot because they don’t know. I just try to help them out.

 

I suppose I should begin with the bust - or the parties leading up to the bust is probably better...

A long time ago I had my first absinthe. It was home brew, wormwood soaked in everclear and not very good. All the witchy girls in SF suddenly discovered absinthe at the same time. This was about two years before Barnaby Conrad wrote Absinthe: History in a Bottle.

 

I dug the concept of absinthe if not the flavor (at that time). A couple of years later I was attending the annual meeting of Men Meat and Martinis. Barnaby had just finished his book. We chatted and that rekindled my interest. I read his book and thought it was interesting then dropped the subject because I was not going to fly to Switzerland any time soon to sample bootleg booze. The following year I was in Spain doing a show. I found absinthe in the duty free shop at the airport. I picked up six bottles and gave most of them away as gifts. But now I began keeping my eyes open for it. I didn't know that it had never been outlawed in Spain, A couple of years later they lifted the ban in Europe.

 

I was in Germany shooting a film. My partner and I took a walk through old town in Düsseldorf and found a liquor store with six brands of absinthe in the window. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I bought two or three bottles of each brand and smuggled them home.

 

A few months later I was back for another show, this time in Berlin, where I discovered the Absinthe Depot. At that time they had about sixteen brands. This comprised almost all of what was available on the European market at that time. I brought back another dozen bottles. By now I had amassed quiet a collection. I wanted to share this with my friends so I decided to throw a party.

 

I asked Jared (the bartender in that video) if he was interested in helping out. I called my lawyer and I did a bunch of research about the potential downside. Jared mentioned the party to a couple of friends and I ended up with about six bar tenders. I told them all up front that I did not expect there to be enough work for them all. I also warned them of the potential legal ramifications. No one had ever done a party like this.

 

Two days before the event I had a meeting with all the bartenders. They all showed up and tasted everything that we were going to have on tap at the party. I knew that people would have questions and wanted the bartenders to be able to answer as much as they could. I wanted them to know what the flavors were. We sampled the flavors, drew up a chart to help people and did our best to acquaint ourselves with the various flavors and brands.

 

I put out a note to my own mailing list and hit up craigslist and tribe. I expected about fifty people to come, five times that many showed up. Barnaby Conrad hung out and signed books. We had a bohemian gypsy band (from Bohemia - friends who were on tour and happened to be in town just then). That party was amazing.

 

I was back in Europe not long after and I brought back another thirty bottles - let me tell you that was a bitch coming through customs. I was genuinely nervous. Fortunately there was a plane from Amsterdam which landed at the same time as mine (from London) and the customs officials were far more interested in hippies than they were in some guy in a business suit.

 

Another party ensued. This time the word was out and the party was off the hook.

 

I made a couple of decisions from the beginning. First, I wanted these parties to be fun. Music, dancing, midnight cabaret. Second. I wanted people to be able to taste as many different brands as possible. I had discovered how different the flavors could be from brand to brand. We had Chech brands and Jade. I won’t say good and bad, I’ll say a variety of flavors and styles. Third. I wanted it to be affordable. I never threw those parties for the money I did it for fun. Of course the absinthe was expensive so was the rent on an underground lair, and entertainment, and staff, and security to keep the cops at bay. So we had to charge but I am very proud to say that you could get a glass of almost any brand for under eight bucks (far less than most bars in SF charge now that absinthe is legal). The parties continued.

 

The police did not find the party online. Someone filed a complaint with the California State Alcohol Beverage Commission. Who did it and why is a whole nother story. Officers of the ABC came to the party undercover and were turned away. They were turned away because of the security I had implemented to keep them out. These were very conscious decisions.

 

I had joked on stage about how many laws we were breaking (a lot) and how much trouble I could get in (technically a lot but I knew it would be a slap on the wrist at worst). We had done a lot of things right. My lawyer always had my back.

 

Keep in mind that I fully expected to be busted. I knew it was just a matter of when. We were throwing these parties almost monthly now and a lot of people were showing up. Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls did a set at one of the parties then proceeded to dance topless on the pole in the dance hall for the next three hours. We were getting very well known. All of the bartenders were warned ahead of time that they were at risk. You can call me reckless if you like but I assure you the risks were all calculated.

 

Unfortunately the bust came at the worst possible time. New years eve was on Sunday that year. I decided to have an absinthe party on the Friday before New Years but we were having a big New Years Eve party as well (Not an absinthe party just a regular NYE party).

 

To accommodate all these parties I had a partner of mine send me a little over a hundred bottles of absinthe. Almost ten grand worth of high-grade fairy juice. I brought all of it to the venue where we threw the parties. Ten grand worth of absinthe. Plus we had to stock the tills at the bars and I brought enough change for that party and for New Years, a lot of cash.

 

Undercover officers came and were turned away. They came back in swat gear and busted the party. I challenged their right to be there but complied. They confiscated all the absinthe and all the other booze (not all of it - it wouldn't all fit in their truck).

 

They were wrong and I knew it. I was fairly certain that the case would never go to court, but my lawyer and I had gone over strategy for two years before this. I was confident that had it gone to trial that we had a good shot at winning, for a lot of reasons. I believed that if we won than it could be seen as a test case that could end the ban or at least potentially weaken it.

 

The bust was the farthest thing in the world from a fiasco. No one went to jail, none of the patrons were harassed and ultimately I got all my money, property, and booze back. My lawyer thinks that this case may have been one of the reasons that the FDA rethought their ruling on the ban. I don't believe that. But I do know that the California ABC did contact the FDA about this just before the meeting with Kübler so they had at least talked about it.

 

My publicist wanted me to exploit the bust. I didn't do a press release. My lawyer wanted me to publicize it. I did not. My agent wanted me to do an absinthe magic show and push the bust angle. I have not done that. I have never tried to make myself any kind of counter culture icon. In fact the only reason I published the story on the website was to quell any kind of rumors. I made the story as boring as possible and just kept it to the facts.

 

I threw those parties for fun. I had a blast and I believe that most folks who came had fun as well. Along the way we served over a hundred and fifty different brands of absinthe. No one else was throwing anything like that kind of an event.

 

So go ahead and talk smack but first tell me what you have done. Oh. That's right you posted a note here about how I am an idiot. Good job. I commend you on taking a risk to do what you believe is right.

 

As for the tour of the absinthe distillery... I spent three solid days traveling to get that footage. I drove through the Italian, Swiss, and French Alps (really the same thing, I just like saying that) in the middle of winter to get there. We shot quick than we had to leave town early because there was a blizzard coming in and the whole region would be shut down.

 

I was trying to keep the video light, fun, informational, and non-technical for people who don't know anything about distillation. Perhaps I failed in that. What would you have said? Oh wait. You didn't say anything because you were not there. You were here posting derogatory remarks about people who were actually out doing things and trying to share that with other people who might be interested. I didn't get paid for doing that video and it cost a fucking fortune to get everyone together to shoot it. Cameraman, Interpreter, me. Three days of travel, plane tickets, rental car from Milan, hotels.

 

The only thing that might be idiotic is to put so much effort into creating something fun only to have people call you an idiot for the trouble. Except that I didn’t do that video for you. I did it for me. I wanted to go there. I got the experience and I got to share it with a few close friends. The absinthe parties were a blast. I loved them. They were great parties unlike anything else anywhere else. I didn’t throw them for you, I didn’t throw them to be cool, and I didn’t throw them for the money. I threw them because no one else was. I didn’t want to go to a club when I was in town and listen to thumping hip hop music. I wanted to go to a cool party, drink absinthe, and experience something unique. If you would have thrown a party that was unique, interesting, and fun I would have gone to that instead, but you didn’t did you? No you were to busy insulting other people.

 

I don’t do things to be cool. I think its cool to do things. I don’t travel around the world to be cool. I think it is cool to travel around the world. To that end I made choices in my life that allow me to do the things I love. Travel, explore, dance, have fun. Those choices have given me a wonderful chance to share some cool things with my friends and family. Things like my love of absinthe. So stop pissing on my parade.

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Paul,

 

You write this about Tourment Vert on your site:

"Contains Thujone – Maximum amount allowed by US TTB"

 

There are many here who don't like hyping thujone. It encourages the gullible to drink more in the anticipation of some "high."

 

So why do you use this copyline?

 

Fair Question Alan. When we started abisntheology we didn't know what it would be. We sent notes out to all of the distributors and all of the makers that we could reach who actually had a product that was selling in the US. The plan was two fold. First get the messaging fromt he companies and put it up where bar tenders could find it. We decided that we would let others debate the merrits of a companie's message (or that we would do that ourselves later). We just wanted to give people the tools to start selling. We felt the best way to do that was to let the companies spak for themselves. We did not charge for this, We did not ask anything for this. All we asked was that they send us what they wanted to say about themselves. No one but Tourment bothered to reply. So Tourment has a page with thier company message.

 

I sent a note to Tourment when they changed there message and asked them to update but they have not gotten back to me about it. They are very busy. As am I, as are you. Up until this month we have not actually done much in the way of content for the site. We have had our hands full with other projects, family matters, and the stuff of life (and death). The next month is dedicated to catching up. I still like the idea of a page for each company that gives them a place to say what they believe is true and interesting about themeselves.

 

If you want a clandestine page now that Clandestine is sold int he US than send it and we will post it. I need to post the tour that I took there and the pix as well. I honestly have not even looked at the site to go through it properly and see what is up. i expect it all to change a lot over the next months and outdated content should go as well. However. if a company wants to talk about thujone content then I think it is a valid marketing tool

 

Say what you want, the fact is everyone who serves absinthe gets asked three questions. What is absinthe? Is it real? Will it make me hallucinate?

 

You have to address those issues. Some companies will explot that as a marketing tool. For some people Thujone content equates to legitimacy. If it doesn't have the stuff that makes it absinthe then it's not absinthe. If it is not the same as the stuff in Europe than it is not as good.

 

Have you seen the ads for crystal skull vodka? Its the Vodka that is filtered through diamonds. What the fuck to diamonds have to do with filtration? Nothing. What do diamonds have to do with marketing? that is a different story - they are shiny and expensive - like the vodka they filter through them.

 

Good brands have differentiators. Thujone has been a differentiator in the online market for years. I expect it in the US sooner or later.

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Thanks for stopping by Paul.

 

In spite of lengthy email correspondence and phone conversations over a year ago where I gave him the real Sazerac history, among other things. This is why I call it disinformation, not misinformation. He knows better, but eschews the truth for a flashier story.

The only post here that actually bothered me was this one. If you take exception to something that I do or say than you have my personal email address and my private phone number as well as an invitation to call me at any time to correct or comment on anything that I say. I made that clear to you a year ago during our conversation (which I found both enlightening and enjoyable - and have been meaning to follow up on - mea culpa). Not that I mind you chastising me here but I am disappointed that you did not contact me directly either before, during or after posting to this thread.

I tried that a year ago. I told you then that the Saz is definitely not the first cocktail and gave you the dates.

 

"I had actually already written a note to put up in the Sazerac page explaining the controversy but it has not made its way up yet."

 

This is illustrative of the crux of this whole issue: it's not a controversy. You seem to frequently fall back on that "opinion" thing, but this is not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of historical record. The cocktail has been with us since at least 1806. This is not controversial or subject to opinion, it's a plain fact.

 

"... They are for bartenders to sell drinks and the idea that this is the oldest cocktail is an interesting one. The fact that there is controversy about it makes it even more interesting."

 

Again, there is no controversy, only people who know the truth and those who don't yet.

 

"As for pointless bar stunts - I just watched a room full of Germans stop dancing while a mediocer flair bartender in the nightclub here lit a couple of bottles on fire and juggled glowing bar bottles. If you want to talk about what I drink that is one thing but if want to do business than you have to put yourself in the position of the people who actually sell this stuff. They like pointless bar tricks."

 

Clearly we hang with different crowds.

 

"I don't light my absinthe on fire but I also don't spend ten minutes dripping cold water over a sugar cube. Don't sit there and tell me that you don't like cheap stunts while giving approval to people who do a slow drip in thier Swiss absinthe (there is no reason to do a slow drip if there is no sugar to drip through). It's the same thing. It's ritual. And it serves a purpose and it has a reason and it adds to the experience. and it is wonderful."

 

I've criticized the ultra-slow drip nearly as much as the fire schtick. There is a reason to add the water slowly, but not that slowly.

 

"My favorite absinthe is Per Francious. I've been to the distillery in Couvet. He is the only distiller to dry his own absinthe plants."

 

No, he's not.

 

"But virtually every bar manager I know has a problem with absinthe, they can't sell it. No one asks for it so no one stocks it. No one stocks it because it is expensive and no one asks for it."

 

Again, we run in different circles. I know several places that can't keep the stuff in the house.

 

"On top of that Bartenders don't know what to do with it. Bartenders don't usually "sell" drinks, they make drinks that the customer asks for - Absinthe requires that bartenders get excited enough to say "hey, try this", which means that bartenders are on the front line as evangelists. Which is why I put up absintheology.com and why we post those videos. They are supposed to be tools for bartenders."

A laudable undertaking. So teach them how to use it: in dashes and splashes, not as a base spirit for the drink. Cocktails are the American heritage of absinthe, to be used as if it were a condiment, just like bitters. But that doesn't sell the quantity your sponsors have in mind. Tough breaks, that's the nature of this spirit.

 

"I'm just trying to help. Bartenders need a place to go to get simple information about what this stuff is and how to serve it. It needs to be simple for them. If bartenders don't know how to serve a drink than they won't pour it, they won't order it, and most important, they won't educate the masses."

 

Telling people that traditional absinthe doesn't mix well doesn't educate the masses, it misleads them.

 

"Like it or not the masses need to start drinking absinthe if the segment is to survive."

 

The masses don't drink Pernod Anis, and it's in virtually every liquor store in the country, right next to Sambuca.

 

"Better yet, make a video that will help bartenders."

 

Count on it.

 

"I doubt that many people on WWS approve of what the masses like. I know I don't. I don't like the music, I don't like the drinks, I don't like the hairstyles, I don't like reality TV but what I like or don't doesn't matter. The drink that is going to end up making the segment successful is going to end up being Le Tourment Vert and Redbull or something equally abhorrent to an absinthe aficionado. Why? Becuase bartenders understand how to pour that. Because they can sell it to thier customers and because the 21 to 28 crowd that is responsible for most drink sales in the US today will understand that absinthe and Redbull will fuck them up."

 

This is not about educating, it's about pandering whatever one can sell the most of.

 

"I don't like it. I don't like that mentality. I certainly would never drink it or recommend it to a friend - but I would recommend it to a bar manager who is looking for a great new drink special. Of course the kind of bar that would serve such a drink is the kind of bar that I don't frequent, but it is also the kind of bar that makes a ton of money. That is the reality of the situation as I see it. I believe that an absinthe energy drink could be a retail hit. I wouldn't drink it my girl friend would.

 

Does that make me a bad person? To say that I don't like this but if you do than go ahead. I don't like the Czech huffing ritual - but go to Prague and it's left right and center. The people doing it are having a blast (then passing out in thier own vomit). They come home and tell stories about getting hammered on absinthe in Prague for years. It's like magic. Who am I to disrespect their experience?"

 

Oh, I don't know... someone who encourages responsible drinking?

 

"You don't want to burn absinthe - Fine. But you have no right to tell someone else they are an idiot just because they are having fun."

 

No, I'm pretty sure I do have that right.

 

"As for me. I put that video up so people could see how it is done. Not to encourage it."

 

Are you even reading what you write?? That's like pot-growing guides and terrorist cookbooks that say they're for information-only purposes. Spending time and sponsors' money to produce a series of videos demonstrates tacit approval.

 

"You and I have spoken and I respect your opinion and your right to have an opinion that is different from mine on various issues. There is no right on wrong on this there is only opinion."

 

Your mistaken, Paul, there is a right and wrong way to do some things and rejecting that notion is simply immature. I've never questioned anyone's right to burn absinthe, but I spend too much of my time re-educating people who think that's the traditional way to do it. This isn't purism, it's simple respect for the real history of the drink, which is in serious danger of being washed away by a flood of marketing bullshit.

 

"I understand that you may not like the preparation of that drink. I understand that it may not be what the WWS is all about. But I didn't post it here. I posted it (actually my partner posted it) to our site www.absintheology.com and to youtube. We put it there becuase we believe that it contains information that some bartenders might find usefull.

 

Some bartenders will scoff at the citrus trick..."

 

I have no problem with the flamed lemon. I flame orange the same way when I make a Negroni. The difference is that toasted citrus oils (the citric acid is in the juice, by the way, not the oil in the rind, which is what ignites) taste good and add a nuance to the drink. Burnt sugar just tastes like scorched marshmallows (if it's actually "caramelized" as per the original Czech instructions).

"Say what you like about LTV. Nothing on the market in the US today mixes as well."

 

More sponsor-driven marketing rhetoric. There are hundreds of pre-ban cocktails that call for traditional absinthe and which rely on the anise-forward flavor. LTV is completely inappropriate for those drinks because its flavor profile has nothing in common with absinthe. It doesn't taste, look, or smell like absinthe. Not only does it not taste of anise, it doesn't taste of wormwood.

 

"As for that particular drink. Go ahead and give me shit for it. But I honestly was taken with the flavor. I really enjoyed it. Does that make me a jerk? To admit that I liked the flavor? I don't care for most Sazeracs."

I have no problem with the drink, either. It looks like a perfectly fine drink. It's just not a Sazerac.

 

"Too boozy for me. But I don't usually care for most adult drinks. I do't like most martini's I dont like straight wiskey. I'm a wimp. Adding a little soda to the mix actualy cut the bite from the alcohol and turned it into a refreshing treat."

 

Here we are again with revisionist thinking. "If you like the idea of drinking a historic cocktail like the Sazerac, but don't like hard liquor, we'll re-create the Sazerac just for you." "If you like the idea of absinthe, but not the taste of it, we'll re-design it so you do like it."

 

Just drink something else, something you like!! I'm glad you enjoyed the drink, but why the need to call it a Sazerac?

 

The problem with this, and the same approach to absinthe, is that people who come to them for the first time will walk away with the wrong idea about what Sazeracs and absinthe are. That is NOT good for the category, it's good for those who are cashing in on the trend before it dies down... and leaves the rest of us to clean up the mess.

 

... we do have a couple of very simple rules. One - have fun. Two - there is no such thing as bad absinthe.

Like hell there's not! I've had some really wretched absinthe, and it was still absinthe, it just sucked terribly.

 

Just because I don't like it doesn't mean that it is bad (except for Lucid which is terrible). Many of the Czech brands are raked over the coals here - Fine. But a lot of people like them. I'm not going to tell you you are wrong for liking something. All I want to do is to say this is how it is made, and this is how more traditional absinthe is made. I try not to judge (it's hard sometimes) I just try to put the info out there.

 

It's not about liking something or whether it tastes good. There is an appropriate and correct range of flavor profiles for absinthe, just as there is for Cabarnet or Gewürztraminer. Beer is good, wine is good, but beer is not wine. And 99% of Czech brands are not absinthe.

 

Most of my life I have had to make things up as I go along. When I started eating fire there was no book on how to do it.
I joined IMB and SAM in 1975. There was a book then. ;)

 

Now there are youtube videos and you can't spit without hitting some firebreathing fire dancing hippy.

You get props for that one.

 

When I started drinking absinthe there was no wormwood society to guide me. There was no internet as we know it today. There was a bunch of witchy chicks in SF crawling through the underbrush of golden gate park to find wormwood and soaking that in everclear with a little green food coloring.

 

And when I threw my first absinthe party no one else was doing anything like it. We had to decide what it was and how we would do it.

 

It is not as though I don't read, ask questions, search out the answers.

 

This is not a slam, Paul, sincerely: you just need to look harder and deeper.* These things have been around. A lot of the information we present here has been available since the 1990s. WS has been having absinthe parties since early 2004. Others were having them for several years previous to that. We just thought it would be foolish to advertise them in public.

 

When I came to absinthe, just like many people, I had a few wrong ideas. But I didn't let that stop me from enjoying it, learning the truth and passing it on.

 

In this video I have nothing to do with the content. Jared Williams shows how he presents a Sazerac. We clearly state that it is not for the purist. I believe it is an interesting presentation for bar tenders and I believe that some bartenders will benefit from this and that many patrons will enjoy this presentation.

Again, I have no problem with the drink itself, I only disagree that it's a Sazerac. It's a sort of a Morning Glory sans curaçao.

 

You have to address those issues. Some companies will explot that as a marketing tool. For some people Thujone content equates to legitimacy. If it doesn't have the stuff that makes it absinthe then it's not absinthe. If it is not the same as the stuff in Europe than it is not as good.

Address the issues by telling the truth: thujone isn't what makes it absinthe, absinthium is. And many of those brands don't contain absinthium!

 

 

 

 

 

* That's what she said.

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Have you seen the ads for crystal skull vodka? Its the Vodka that is filtered through diamonds. What the fuck to diamonds have to do with filtration? Nothing. What do diamonds have to do with marketing? that is a different story - they are shiny and expensive - like the vodka they filter through them.

I will address only one issue. There are vodkas filtered through amber and through copper (likewise the newest Bols installment that is terribly metallic in the aftertaste). No matter how much they are having a winning hand in the terms of marketing gimmickery (mockery), it does not mean that they are credible and should be considered as genuine traditional vodka; it might be considered one by the masses, but what about vodka afficionados, call them snobs even, they won't fall in for that lie.

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The underlying idea of your approach seems to be that absinthe's continued survival in the market depends on bartenders being able to sell mass quantities of it. I strongly disagree with this for several reasons.

 

Nope. That is one aspect of why I do what I do. The main one is to have fun.

 

In fact, I personally believe that absinthe recommended by waiters and sold as an aperitif in restaurants presents a better opportunity to grow the market for true absinthe than bars and bartenders.

 

You are welcome to your opinion. I tend to use the term bar tender losely in this context. I atually mean people who serve absinthe including wiaters, and liquor store salse staff.

Absintheology was origionally concieved of as a place for people who serve absinthe not just bartenders.

 

The only thing, in fact, that can really endanger absinthe's continued survival on our shelves is a return to the public perception of it as a dangerous liquor. It seems to me that showing how to do fire stunts in YouTube videos is the surest way to make this happen.

 

Perhaps. Or perhaps the surest way is to not show them and let them try to figure it out for themselves. I believe in teaching sex ed in school too by the way.

 

I have a strong interest in making sure that a huge segment of the population does not get a terribly wrong idea about what absinthe is... I don't want my friends and family to watch some bartender at a rave light that stuff on fire and toss it around in big showy displays and think that that's what I've been talking about all this time.

Why is your family at a rave in the first place?

 

I don't want them tasting wintergreen schnapps and thinking that's my favorite drink.

Why not? Who cares. And if they are that close to you than why have you not offered them a drink already? if you come into my house I promise you get a drink of good absinthe. You kind of can't avoid it. So why are you making your family go out to a rave and get drinks from crappy bartenders? The truth is that you are not. You have already turned on your friends and family to what you love. you have shared it with them.

 

So who cares if the next big craze to hit clubs is Tourment and Redbull? Its really none of your business what the other people in the room are drinking. It is polite to inqure but it is rude to judge and ultimately it doesn't affect you. So leave it alone.

 

I disagree that absinthe would never have made it to the modern market had it not been for Czech bartenders and their pyrotechnics.

We disagree. There is no right answer. But the fact is that this is how it came about and you should be respectful of that.

 

In fact, I wish it had waited a bit longer, and been revived by cocktail culture instead.

I just paid $18 for a Mojito in Las Vegas last week. Do you mean that cocktial culture? Becuase if you do than you can have it. I like nice wine that i can afford. I like good food that I can afford. I like going out to clubs and having drinks that I can afford. If the cocktial culture would have revived absinthe you would be bitching about how you wish it would have happened organically. I know I would have. The way it happened is so much more interesting than having it manufactured by some ad company looking for the next big thing.

 

Trace the history. Radomil Hill gets the family distillery back from the comunits after the velvet revolution. A funky clown troupe trys hills abisnthe and starts doing sketches about it in Prague. A Brittish writer goes to prague on vacation and comes back with a story and a couple of bottles of absinthe. His boss falls in love with absinthe and starts importing it. They run several stories in the magazing and kick of the western absinthe revolution.

 

You want a better story than that? That is an amazing story. It's magic.

 

 

You say that you don't like the displays, or the czechsinthe, and that in your personal life you prefer better brands. You say you're just trying to help. But what are you helping?
Y

I never said I don't like the displays. I love the displays. I love the ritual. Which is why I put them up for people to see, learn, and share.

 

Once you get all those bartenders thinking that they know what absinthe is and how to use it, it's going to be impossible to get them, and the general public, to believe people who know the truth. You, you yourself, are aggressively teaching them the wrong idea, and it seems, from your claims about what you like to drink for yourself, that you KNOW it.

What did I tell people that was wrong? That the Sazerac was the first cocktail? Just shoot me man. Just put me out of my misery. I obviously don't deserve to live. I mispoke on that - made a mistake which I intend to rectify. Meant to say "The Sazerac may be the first cocktail eve invented." Get a little controversy going then send people who are interested to the various web links and let them decide for themselves. I will be putting up the info but have not had a moment to breath. The videos went life before I had a chance to finish that content. I'll get it up in the next day or so.

 

What else did I teach that was wrong? That if a server flames a drink it will draw attention, sell more drinks, make them more tips, and deliver a fun experience for guests? I'll take the heat on that. If you want to disagree than fine but I'll stand by that sentement.

 

I won't call you an idiot for disagreeing with me. Please show me the same courtesty. In fact, I would like to suggest that we all show each other that courtesy at all times. This is a public forum. I would not call you an idiot in a room full of your fellow enthusiasts and that is exactly what this is.

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Thanks for stopping by Paul.

 

It's been way to long since I chatted with you G. As always I am humbled by your knowledge, edified by your conversation, and in disagreement with you on a number of issues, most of them having to do with the crass aspects of money.

 

It's now noon here in Germany and I have spent the past ten hours rebutting my detractors here. It's sleepy time.

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I had hoped to get some of the controversy into the video but it just slowed things down and made it less interesting. My bad.

 

Pretty much sums everything up, don't ya think?

Sir, with the cost of production (in making a video), as you wrote, seems to me like one would want to get it right the first time, ja?

So, really, in talking out of both sides of your mouth, this is really what its all about: moving things along swiftly throwing caution to the wind, facts and proper pontificating be damned.

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Welcome to the forum Paul. How am I not surprised you found your way here at so coincidental of a time?

 

Anyway, I understand a lot of what you're saying, but a lot of it is just so wrong that I don't know where to start. And I'm not talking about subjective point here either, I'm talking objective. Points that don't rely on what one producer might have told you as part of their marketing plan.

 

Let's just start with two things:

 

1) There is most certainly cause for a slow drip, even if you don't use sugar. Making it a 7-10 minute drip is ridiculous, but a 2-3 minute one is most certainly beneficial to a good absinthe, as opposed to a power louche.

 

2) I don't know which bars you frequent, but I know of plenty who go through absinthe like it's smuggled donuts in a fat camp. I'm sure I've talked to the same people you have about bartenders not knowing what to do with absinthe. Ask them what my response was. Actually, I think I might have even posted a response here.

 

Anyway, that's enough for me to start with. It will take me a few hours to get through the rest.

 

And Paul, feel free to email or call me. I'd love to speak with you about a lot of these misconceptions.

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This has to be one of the most interesting (non) introductory threads I've ever read on WS.

"That is one aspect of why I do what I do. The main one is to have fun."

My feelings, exactly.

Seeing no good reason to quibble over what we disagree on, I'll leave it where we do agree:

Having fun and a love of absinthe.

I hope you hang around, continue posting and learn that many of the people posting vitriol were motivated by their passion as absinthe enthusiasts and not really mean people at all. Although it is clear there are some issues we'll never see eye-to-eye on. Meh. That's life. :cheers:

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Ain't life great?

 

As I see Paul is a viewer of my YouTube videos-that speaks for itself. Since he was looking at them and similar ones (including the very bitter: "How to make Czech absinth" one, which is neither polite nor nice, but straightforward and full of derogatory puns on words), I am giving him my credit.

 

Moreover, I hope he will explain everything in a courteous manner-everyone of us has been making mistakes back in day, we ain't that crystal (as Crystal skull "vodka" :devil: ) as we seem to be, but that is what it was all about-learning and modesty: we are learning new things day by day, year by year, sometimes what we learnt in 2006 seems to be utter crap in 2008 and so it goes. So, welcome Paul and speak your mind and never get discouraged since the truth is bitter but it is great fun for it to be explored.

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Joe, I hate to disagree with you. You're only half right here. Paul wants to have fun. He does not love absinthe. He may love having a good time, he may love making money, being the center of attention, and parading around like an expert, true. All those things and more, but absinthe? Not so much.

 

Paul, please take some time to be introspective, and compare yourself with, say Lance Winters, or even Ted. They are both very public evangelists for absinthe, and while one or another of us may not like their product as much as others, they do a good, honest, and effective job. Plus, I understand they even manage to move some product at the same time.

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You know you're welcome to disagree with me. As I alluded, there are clearly things Paul and I will probably never agree on but it seemed a tone of civility was in order. I'm just thinking of priorities here and which is the greater transgression: mis-dis-information or producing czech-faux-sinth and calling it absinthe? I'm not sanctioning either one, mind you. ;)

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Paul, you talk as though we bashed your video tour of the Guy distillery, we don't. I actually really liked that video. We don't have anything against you. It's just that absinthe is so often misrepresented and we're making an effort to give people the proper facts. It's just that some of your videos do the opposite of what we try to do here. We're just trying to get absintheology to help us educate people, because even if you say that you are not an authority on absinthe, you are represented as one in your videos.

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Paul,

 

You write this about Tourment Vert on your site:

"Contains Thujone – Maximum amount allowed by US TTB"

 

There are many here who don't like hyping thujone. It encourages the gullible to drink more in the anticipation of some "high."

 

So why do you use this copyline?

 

Fair Question Alan... I sent a note to Tourment when they changed there message and asked them to update but they have not gotten back to me about it. They are very busy.

If they have been too busy, I have a suggestion for you. Ask minott in the Tourment Vert thread here: he usually answers questions here quite quickly.

 

At the same time you could check whether two of the other points you make on your site are correct:

 

WHAT DISTINGUISHES LE TOURMENT VERT FROM OTHER ABSINTHES?

 

1. Quality – Handcrafted in limited batches with the traditional French distillation process, in original French distillery.

2. Flavor – Unique combination of aromatic herbs and Grand Wormwood, from original Delannoy family recipe over 100 years old.

Paul, you have been to the home of Tourment Vert and to that of La Clandestine. Do you really consider Tourment Vert to be hand-crafted?

 

minott has said on this forum that they currently use a recipe with lower strength, reduced anise, and added colour. So this 100 year old recipe stuff is clearly out-of-date.

 

I only make these points because if you run a site that claims to be "The web's best source for information about absinthe created by and for absinthe professionals," you have, IMHO, a duty to check that the information is correct.

 

Say what you want, the fact is everyone who serves absinthe gets asked three questions. What is absinthe? Is it real? Will it make me hallucinate?

 

You have to address those issues. Some companies will explot that as a marketing tool. For some people Thujone content equates to legitimacy. If it doesn't have the stuff that makes it absinthe then it's not absinthe. If it is not the same as the stuff in Europe than it is not as good.

 

Good brands have differentiators. Thujone has been a differentiator in the online market for years. I expect it in the US sooner or later.

Later, Paul. Much later. And probably not in our lifetimes. Take a look at the Distilled Spirits industry code of practice. Go talk to the TTB. Thujone is not a differentiator, and any manufacturer who uses it in their marketing is preying on the gullible and misleading the public.

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We all agreed after the shoot but it was too late to do anything about it

 

Maybe if it was done right the first time. Good thing it was free. It was worth what we paid for it.

 

You are a busy man Paul. I understand busy. Life is what it is and your choices are what they are.

 

You are a magician, a performer. I'm not.

 

Well it's about noon in Oklahoma (the cultural center of the universe) and I need to do something productive.

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