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The0Alchemist

Names and the one true way.

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So as you may have notice from my introduction thread I can get quite combative (doubly so if tired). Anyhow on another website I started a thread asking how often people do the whole glasses, spoons, sugar, and water rigmarole which I referred to as ritual. One of the reply I got was that "preparing absinthe the way it is supposed to be is not a ritual" and to not be weird.

 

So my question to you all here is what name do you use to refer to the rigmarole that uses all those fancy absinthe toys and do you consider that to be the one true way to prepare absinthe? Cause I don't think every absinthe can stand up to that method of prep.

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I think most of us use the term ritual from time to time, some more, some less. I've been consciously moving away from using it because I find it only perpetuates the sensationalism and intimidates newcomers who are worrying they're not doing it right.

Making an ordinary cup of tea isn't called a ritual.* We don't perform a Martini ritual or a coffee ritual. We don't perform an oyster ritual. Each of these things requires specific steps in preparation that all have practical purposes to allow maximum enjoyment. We shouldn't let the fact that the accoutrements are fancy-looking and peculiar (in modern eyes) lead us to project something onto them that isn't there.

These days I almost always refer to it as simply "making a glass of absinthe", or "preparation" or when speaking with F&B professionals, proper "absinthe service".


*Yes, I know about the Japanese tea ceremonies but those are ceremonies, not rituals, and that's why I said "ordinary".

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Prep or preparation to those who aren't really into the whole thing(when I explain it.) Ritual if I'm being romantic about it.

Edited by Cajun Magic

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I think when in comes to 'ritual', each drinker did his own thing, thus it was an individual thing, particularly among French drinkers. You can say that each drinker had his own habits, and if you make your drink the same way day after day, year after year, it becomes ritualized.

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So as you may have notice from my introduction thread I can get quite combative (doubly so if tired). Anyhow

Yeah, anybody can be a dick on the internet. But, it's not particularly good form to walk in someone's house and piss on the rug.

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So as you may have notice from my introduction thread I can get quite combative (doubly so if tired). Anyhow

Yeah, anybody can be a dick on the internet. But, it's not particularly good form to walk in someone's house and piss on the rug.

 

 

 

Especially if it really ties the room together. Do you have a permit for those marmots within the city?

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Songcatcher has a good point. Although someone called your question weird so it's not like you were the only one being pokey.

 

But more about the whole ritual thing.

 

There are plenty of ways to add water and, if you wish, sugar to absinthe. Also, many ways to use absinthe in cocktails as well. "Ritual" is how absinthe preparation was presented in current media as a way to make the aesthetic of absinthe appear more than it is. People picked up the term and made it common. That's marketing for you, psychological smoke and mirrors all the way.

 

I'm a fan of romantic/aesthetic terms so I've definitely used the word ritual as well but with so many options it hardly seems ritualistic. There's just too much variance. Gwydion has a point, I don't perform cocktail rituals when I make them. My coffee preparation (chemex) comes close but it's still just one process out of many available. The main idea for me is whether or not the preparation makes something good or not. This is my primary objection to the fire and straight shot methods, it sends people away from absinthe by creating a bad experience for most.

 

Aside from that I could care less about fountains versus carafes or drippers or whatever. Use a water bottle and a fork over a simple glass for all I care. I have my preferences but that doesn't mean someone else is wrong.

 

Louche as thou wilt.

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do you consider that to be the one true way to prepare absinthe? Cause I don't think every absinthe can stand up to that method of prep.

 

I haven't used a spoon or sugar in years, but I frequently use my fountain. It's a nice way to prep, and it lets you watch instead of having to hold a water bottle or carafe above the glass.

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I always found it ridiculous to hear people talk about measuring the water

to get exact proportions. I mean come on, it's a drink, not a damn science experiment. Just pour some water in and drink it. Or not.

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Seeing as "morning ritual" is an accepted colloquialism for a morning trip to the bathroom, I do not think that that word 'ritual' carries the weight it once did. While the way I make a cup of ordinary tea could be seen as a bit ritualistic, I do see ya'll's point. That said the world of tea might not have a ritual but it has a ceremony, which seeing a google uses each word in the others definitions they are kinda synonyms. A glass of tea made in tea ceremony is not physically different from that banged out at home, but I do believe it gains an intrinsic value when prepared and consumed with that deliberatous mind set.

 

I think that any thing performed in ritualized fashion requires and fosters a certain cast of mind. You enter the ritual knowing the desired out come and the steps that one will take to get there. And ritual builds the tension of anticipation, on some level you're thinking of the end result, and each step along the path builds the anticpation. Add this to a light meditative state induced by focusing on the task at hand and you take an ordinary item and build and extraordinary experience.

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The psychological/sociological use of the word does confuse things quite a bit. Speaking in those terms damn near anything can be a ritual so long as it is made a habit. So I see your point there. William James was correct in separating the terms it seems; much less confusion his way. Damn colloquial use mucking up psychology terms once again.

 

I do have a reverence for absinthe (I'd say most WS members do) and I enjoy calming down to prepare a glass. But for me it's not much different even if I drink something else.

 

Then again there are some of us who participate in much more complex rituals regularly and might have an issue seeing preparation of a drink with such seriousness.

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Being a young(ish) Freemason I hesitate to call my absinthe preparation "ritual". Otherwise I'd start to fret making sure I'm doing it 100% accurately for fear of having the officers grimace! :nono:

 

On a serious note, since I don't use sugar with my absinthe there's really nothing to call "ritual" other than when I'm using my fountain at home, which I find to be relaxing.

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