Saturday, January 01, 2011


For the past two years, on New Year's Eve, I've been seized by a sudden urge to try absinthe. I have no idea why it only strikes on that day.

Part of the lure of absinthe has to be the ritual. If there's one thing creative types adore, it's a ritual. You don't simply pour a shot of absinthe and down it. I suppose that you could, but that reduces it to simply another flavor of alcohol.

The other part of the lure is the mystic.
Absinthe is the drink of artists. If you believe the bad press, it's a gateway to insanity. If you believe the aficionados, it's the gateway to the muse. Those aren't mutually exclusive. But like most anti-drug hysteria, I doubt most of the alarm surrounding it. It's legal to sell in the US again, I assume after a great deal of scientific evidence proving its safety. Considering how rarely the US Government lets science be heard over hysteria and religious nuttery, the case had to be compelling.

Absinthe isn't a cheap habit. For that reason, I'm hesitant to dive into it. And I worry that the flavor might not be to my liking. I've tried basil infused vodka, so an herbal drink isn't out of the question. I'm not terribly fond of anise though. Or more accurately, I don't like black licorice, so I'm a bit hesitant. But this coming May when I head to New Orleans for Saints and Sinners, I think I'll give it a try. That's the perfect city for indulgence, muses, and maybe a touch of madness.


Sharon Hamilton said...

I'm late to the party, but just followed your blog and couldn't help but comment on this. I used a scene in my paranormal book, Angel, about a dark angel negotiating a human suicide so he can claim her soul, and she orders absinthe, since she thinks she'll now have to get used to "dark" things. I got a bottle and my husband and I tried it, and, although it isn't a favorite, I can see the appeal. You are so right, the ritual is everything, like in Dracula. That's how I wrote my scene, too. It was like a "handshake with the devil" kind of scene, and so perfect for it. "An acquired taste" the dark angel tells her, like you new life will be....

Forgive my jumping in late.

Sharon Hamilton said...
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