Having lived in France and within shouting distance of Paris for a year, my one frustration is that I never had the time to seek out a proper absinthe bar. I heard of a good few, among which was the one that Hemingway supposedly frequented back in the day. Despite the actual cultural value, I will be the first to admit that the primary draw of the place was that it was so hidden, maps and online accounts made it seem like a complex exercise to even get there.
(I have a thing for hidden bars. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the mysterious C in that post.)
So funnily enough, the one time I actually had absinthe was in Berlin with some school friends while we lived in a hostel. They did not have proper shot glasses and we had to make do with water glasses, and we needed to do a quick run to the nearest convenience store for distilled water and sugar cubes. We dimmed the lights, listened to the party music wafting in from the open window, and carefully followed the instructions. We did it French style, naturally.
Contrary to how absinthe seems to be perceived by everyone else, this stuff is actually pretty nice. I didn’t see the green fairy, as we were so often warned, but I learned that day that when prepared well, absinthe changes into an odd milky green, takes on the consistency of skim milk, and goes down far smoother than something that powerful has any right to. It’s a shame that we pull out absinthe when parties reach fever pitch, in an attempt to prolong the buzz, when the experience of sitting in a darkened room with good music and some friends is actually equally fun.
Special thanks to GrafikGiraffe for the infographic.