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le5lieb

Time to de-lurk

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Is it still considered lurking if I mainly read the Reviews and articles? I have only recently started reading the forums. :g:

I introduced myself to the intrigue of absinthe mid-2012. Freshly separated and in the throes of divorce I was easily captivated by the allure of the green fairy. There was a memory deep in my subconscious that was aroused one day while I was watching “Get Him to The Greek” with Russell Brand; you know, the scene in the Las Vegas bar where he demands “absimph”. I quickly Googled ‘absinth’, and was instantly captured by the mystique.

I dove in whole hog. I lived in a town called Devore, which is very near the now-famous San Bernardino, but not much else. I ended up here and elsewhere and determined the proper serving techniques. I read about many brands. I ordered some ‘starter’ bottles, glasses, spoons, sugar cubes, etc. I had ordered bottles of Pacifique and Jade Edouard. I was impatient waiting for my bottles to arrive so I visited my local BevMo and Total Wine and More stores. I ended up with Lucid, Mansinthe and Leopold Bros. I found that these brands were a good place to start and compare. By the time the Edouard arrived I had a somewhat educated palette, and realized that the Jade was a superior absinthe. It’s still one of my favorites.

My collection grew from there. Whenever I had some money to spare I would peruse the reviews and decide what to order next. Around spring of 2014 I had to pack everything up in preparation to sell my house and move. Everything, including the large part of my absinthe collection, went into storage for what ended up being several months. I still ordered some select bottles, but with limited living space I just checked that the shipment had arrived intact and left the bottles stored in the box they were shipped in. Finally, in spring of 2015 I found a house in Temecula and was able to bring everything out of storage. It was still a few months before I was able to unpack my collection. By this time I was in poor health and had had to stop drinking; I have rheumatoid arthritis and I am susceptible to alcohol induced inflammation, which is very painful.

Now, things are improving and I can imbibe from time to time with restraint. My palette has lost much of it’s refinement but I can still discern good absinthe from bad. I am looking forward to opening some of the bottles that I ordered so long ago, and starting the adventure again.

I guess to me the most surprising aspect of the culture is that it isn’t more popular. With the popularity of craft cocktails I would think the absinthe would be right up there with them. Yet I am always amazed that I cannot find a bar that serves it, without driving long distances. I once drove about 50 miles to North Hollywood just to be able to order absinthe at a bar. The Other Door, and they had a pretty nice selection of Jades. I was in the Bay area once and made a point of driving to San Francisco simply to find a bar that served absinthe. I ended up at the Vesuvius Cafe. As I recall I had Kübler. It was awful. It seemed like something that someone had presoaked their dirty gym socks in. I’m glad I never bought a bottle.

It may be simply that the drinkers today are impatient. They can’t abide waiting for the slow drip and be enthralled by watching the louche. They want to pop a beer can or pour a glass of wine, instant gratification. They can’t be bothered to make their own craft cocktails, let the bartender do that and serve it to them. Many don’t like the ‘licorice’ taste. I occasionally introduce someone new to absinthe, but I will serve them a more inferior brand until I they decide if they like it. I recently introduced a friends daughter and her boyfriend to it, and they were intrigued. The boyfriend is from Switzerland, and said he now feels bad about making fun of the kids from the farming area of Val de Travers.

I couldn’t say which brands are my favorites yet because I have so many unopened bottles. Certainly the Jades that I have tried, but the Terminus is still unopened. I love Butterfly; I need to order another bottle. Meadow of Love is up there. Savage is on it’s way but already has mixed reviews.

If you ever find yourself in Temecula (about an hour north of San Diego) stop in and I will gladly share some absinthe. Then I won’t have to feel guilty about drinking alone. :unsure: :cheerz:

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