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Sigmasix

more than just alcohol

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I've gotten a general impression that many folks here, some well-versed, deduce that true absinthe is just another alcoholic beverage. I have to disagree. Whereas I am surely not a connoisseur of all things alcohol, I have to point out that absinthe is much more than a liquid depressant. If it were, there would not exist such a history and mythology that absinthe certainly has. There is magic(k) there, to be sure.

 

Perhaps it is my many years spent in a small herbal shop that informed me of the many subtle effects present in these plants; a power existent in subtlety. Herbs contain many hidden properties that, even with advanced science, we may not fully understand today. It is in the specific herbal combination in which a good absinthe derives its unique potency, and surely that must be as much chance as it is alchemical.

 

Let us not then deny the special power that absinthe has over all other mere alcohol. Whether there be nothing special in the herbs and preparation, and existing solely in the propaganda created by special interest groups to banish the green fairy, than that alone has created the magic(k) in which absinthe has come to hold in the 21st century. Let us drink to the perfect quality of this drink; a quality that has persisted through many ages of banishment only to rise once again.

 

 

PS... i've only had few glasses tonight :twitchsmile:

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Let us not then deny the special power that absinthe has over all other mere alcohol.

 

I don't know about you, but I rarely drink "mere alcohol". Absinthe's just one of many possible alcoholic beverages, and so are, to pick two examples, very old Cognac or a glass of 16 month old Orval.

 

They're all peculiar and different from the others.

 

I do deny that absinthe has 'special power' over all other products, except when I'm too drunk. And that never happens these days.

Edited by sixela

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I've gotten a general impression that many folks here, some well-versed, deduce that true absinthe is just another alcoholic beverage. I have to disagree. [snip]

Perhaps it is my many years spent in a small herbal shop that informed me of the many subtle effects present in these plants; a power existent in subtlety. Herbs contain many hidden properties that, even with advanced science, we may not fully understand today.

 

All spirits are made from plants, are they not? Are we to infer that there is no "magick" in the humble corn stalk, from which we get bourbon? Does not Hecate or some goddess or other inhabit the mysterious juniper berry, from which we get gin?

 

I won't attempt to answer these questions...I'm in the absinthe is booze and booze is booze camp, and am not impressed with "secondaries" or subtle herbal qualities, etc. Born skeptic, I guess. But whatever one believes about the magical or sacred properties of plants, absinthe is just one of many...noteworthy perhaps for having been banned for the better part of a century, but after all that was just a colossal misunderstanding.

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There is magic(k)

Fixed. (that k is a pet peeve of mine. ;) )

 

Perhaps it is my many years spent in a small herbal shop that informed me of the many subtle effects present in these plants; a power existent in subtlety. Herbs contain many hidden properties that, even with advanced science, we may not fully understand today. It is in the specific herbal combination in which a good absinthe derives its unique potency, and surely that must be as much chance as it is alchemical.

Actually there is a lot of science on this kind of stuff. Hit up the nearest college library and scan the scientific food journals. You will be amazed at what exactly has been studied. I'm not just talking about chemical compositions and effects either. It's been a while since I looked, but I remember being surprised at what scientists were looking for in plants.

 

Absinthe is special. At a time when I disliked most booze absinthe turned me around. It is easy to see how it once became a threat to other parts of the alcohol industry.

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Actually, although it's an obscure difference, Crowley specifically used the k to distinguish his system of ceremonial magic and philosophy from others. Outside that context it's an affectation, but in that context it's an important distinction.

 

As for the superlative nature of absinthe, modern Druids (since c. 1963) use whisky as a sacrament, the Waters of Life. I feel certain that they (at least some of them) perceive a specialness in it that transcends other drinks as the grain/sun/summer god is slain and his spirit coaxed out of his body through the alchemical process of distillation. Solve et coagula.

 

Also, there are plenty of others here familiar with Magick, "ethnobotany" and other esoteric studies, but that's not what we're here to discuss.

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portions of this thread reminded me of this quote from the

Tragedy of MacBeth...

 

"We are men, my Liege...

 

Macbeth: I, in the Catalogue ye go for men,

As Hounds, and Greyhounds, Mongrels, Spaniels, Curres,

Showghes, Water-Rugs, and Demi-Wolves are clipt

All by the Name of Dogs..."

 

of course, absinthe is booze...

 

it is very unique, very special booze, it is not the same as the rest of the pack.

 

if this were not so, why do we spend so much time here discussing it?

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Of course Absinthe is more than just alcohol. There's water in there. Some herbs...

 

Haha, seriously though. As far as I'm concerned, what makes Absinthe special and/or different is the ritual, the experience. Watching that glass louche up is really something. It's nothing supernatural, and it's nothing magic(k)al at all.

 

It's just fun.

It's seductive to watch.

It tastes great.

And that's good enough for me.

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it is very unique, very special booze, it is not the same as the rest of the pack.

 

if this were not so, why do we spend so much time here discussing it?

Because this is an absinthe enthusiast's society. Who's to say that members here aren't also members of other alcoholic beverage boards? There are fanatical fans of whisk(e)y, gin, cognac, beer, wine, tequila, vodka, and all sorts of other lesser known drinks who post here. And cocktail enthusiasts too. As for myself, I love single malt Scotch just about as much as absinthe but since the total number of absinthes on the market is a lot smaller than single malts it's less overwhelming to explore the entire field. So I focus more on absinthe.

 

A lot of what makes absinthe special is that it's mysterious: banned for a long time in a lot of countries and not produced as a quality commercial product for decades. When this board started you couldn't buy absinthe in the US, and the exclusivity of it and high expense involved in importing it only increased the desire to get ahold of it. Even though you can get it here now there still aren't many brands that are widely available.

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Who's to say that members here aren't also members of other alcoholic beverage boards?

:wave2:

 

 

 

it's less overwhelming to explore the entire field. So I focus more on absinthe.

Youll be exploring quite a few pretty soon. :devil:

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My nightly ritual is to pour 5oz of cold water quickly, then as the mixture clouds up in about 5 minutes, I get comfy. Then I sip and enjoy. To me it's all about the taste. When I do use sugar, then I do enjoy the ritual, but it's a side show at best.

Edited by Miguel

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Aayes. Absinthe has, um, special powers! Last time I've drank bunny hugs (which are highly magical on their own), I managed to burn a blanket with my mere thought! There was also someting about an ignited water pipe falling down and friends shouting at me, but I don't believe them; the blanket got burnt, nevertheless. (No premium absinthes were harmed during the incident.)

 

I have to point out that ethanol is much more than a liquid depressant:) Absinthe may make a very slight difference (slighter than laced coffee does), but we most probably make up the rest.

 

At the very beginning, I was looking for something alchemical as well (many of us did, I'm sure), but I've only found the most delicious beverage of the world, and I'm happy with the deal :)

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Maybe there should be a section for odes to the green muse (like this one). It is inspiring and the real difference I can note between the two is the perspective given in the writing. One is an expression of the self and view (in my opinion) and the other (this thread) is more comparative and maybe a call for comradeship.

 

Sigmasix, I see the magic(k) for myself; from within myself though, not from the bottle. As Gwydion said

modern Druids (since c. 1963) use whisky as a sacrament, the Waters of Life.
. Modern Ryanists (there is only 1) use Absinthe as sacrament as well as a house-warmer for visiting friends, conversational lubricant where it's needed and many other applications. It's sacredness comes from the intent of its usage, I believe. I could throw my arm around your shoulder and count myself among those who love this spirit and celebrate with you. I could also share the whisky with the druids, mead with the pagans, wine with the Christians and it would all emanate from the same place in my heart. That place where your spirit comes into this world. I can appreciate your spirit and what you're saying.

 

I use the (k) the same politically correct way we do such things as to show that everyone is welcome to see it from their own perspective without any intended exclusion on my part and to show that I respect that we all see things from our own unique place in the universe.

 

It also signifies to me the difference between metaphysical magick and stage magic which are fundamentally different to me. One is the sharing of a persons absolute truth and the other a deception for entertainment. I enjoy both.

 

I disagree with the thought that absinthe has anything other than distilled herbs, while I can respect seeing the green fairy in the bottle just as seeing Hecate in a bottle of gin (thanks Marlow), I believe the magic is in the spirit/soul/center and you bring it to what you do if you so choose.

 

Thanks for sharing this Sigmasix, I enjoyed reading it :cheers:

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Thanks for the great replies... and to answer a question most likely assumed by everyone here by this post, No... I am not crazy. ;)

 

It was just a sort of mini literay reaction to the many, "It's just booze" comments throughout this forum. I'm not saying you'll see demons, and other manners of puckdom, etc. To see those you'll need a few glasses of straight Applejack. Remind me to tell you the story of when I saw the Jersey Devil!

 

So once again, absinthe is most certainly NOT 'just booze'... that's something more akin to Bud Light.

 

Show some respect. :laugh:

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Modern Ryanists (there is only 1) use Absinthe as sacrament

 

Ryan. I would like to join this sect if I could... my name is Bryan so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch!

 

Cheers for the kind words sir! :cheers:

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To me, it is just booze, just very tasty booze. If I infer any other effects on my psyche, like was done in the belle epoque, I risk the booze I like, being banned again. Thankfully scientists like Ted have proven that it is just tasty booze, which is why it is legal again. Any other properties are just Behind the Green Door.

Edited by Miguel

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OK. well then surely you must agree that there is something uniquely special with this 'just booze', whether you want to call that magic(k) or dumb luck... just saying. Even a most lovely drink such as Chartreuse doesn't have its own forum.

 

Absinthe is to booze, as Mercedes Benz is to cars? Does that equation work?

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A glass of absinthe sends me to the 19th century as a sip of rum to a pirate ship, scotch to a fishing village, bourbon to the wild west, Irish whiskey to a pub and gin to London. Its all magical and its all just booze. Its our minds and senses that turn it all into something so much more. :cheers:

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Even a most lovely drink such as Chartreuse doesn't have its own forum.

 

Apparently you missed Peridot's post.

 

Who's to say that members here aren't also members of other alcoholic beverage boards? There are fanatical fans of whisk(e)y, gin, cognac, beer, wine, tequila, vodka, and all sorts of other lesser known drinks who post here. And cocktail enthusiasts too.

 

There are forums for many different spirits, beers, wines, cocktails etc. Every beverage has its own fan base.

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I think weather is a big part of my liking absinthe. Scotch and cognac are best enjoyed by me in cold weather. Glen Mornagie in an Aberdeenian Pub on a February night, after a day of cold work, is down right heavenly.

But absinthe, with its ice cold water, is best for the hot Texas weather. Especially when watching the Tour de France on TV. I'm sure if they send me to southern France in the next 3 months, I'll make sure to buy a bottle over there.

Edited by Miguel

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Absinthe is to booze, as Mercedes Benz is to cars? Does that equation work?

 

it may be a bit simplistic, but that gets to it from my point of view.

 

I would wager that nearly all of us agree that there is a vast difference between cheap booze and fine spirits, whether we are talking absinthe, whiskey, tequila/mezcal or gin &

there are devoted fans of all those varieties of liquor who for all sorts of reasons indulge in their particular poison(s).

 

In my years of tasting different spirits from around the world, nothing for me comes close to the pleasure to be had enjoying a glass (or two) of absinthe while watching and feeling the world slow down to a gentler pace.

 

others shall have their own as they see fit...for me, la fee verte is and will remain a unique experience...albeit one that is ethanol fueled.

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Even a most lovely drink such as Chartreuse doesn't have its own forum.

 

...

 

There are forums for many different spirits, beers, wines, cocktails etc. Every beverage has its own fan base.

And if Chartreuse doesn't have its own forum that still makes sense because it's one kind of liquor made by one company with two types across a handful of different bottlings that vary in degree and aging. Not a whole lot to discuss compared to the large number of brands in the absinthe industry, which is still small compared to other things like Bourbon.

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Jim M.

Absinthe, even worse than more than established drinks, can be made very badly. That is why this website is so important for noobs like me.

But with the good stuff I totally agree. I've searched for a nightly drink in vain for decades until I found absinthe.

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I have to agree with OP. Absinthe does have a different effect on me than other alcoholic beverages. The basic mechanics I think are the dichotomies that Absinthe causes. Alcohol tries to shut down brain functions while the herbs in Absinthe open the throttles on the mind like some suicidal engineer on a freight train. I think also that the individual is the key. If you have a creative mind absinthe will help the ideas flow. I do know one thing for a fact. I had four doses of VS 1898 and scored 500 points higher than I ever had on the Wii game Wake Rider, or Wave Rider or whatever it was. :twitchsmile:

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