Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Michelle Flies With the Green Fairy

Ever since I had my first post-Paris glass of absinthe the other day at Toro Bravo (fun fact: it made my feet go numb), I have been eager to have another go at the Green Fairy. So it was providential that the sleek and shiny Pearl Specialty Liquors (900 NW Lovejoy St, www.pearlspecialty.com) was holding a First Thursday absinthe tasting. The tasting featured 100-proof French absinthe Le Tourment Vert, and included a tutorial on how to drink your absinthe like a real Parisian, spoon and sugar cube and all.

The First Thursday crowd was large when my friend HB and I arrived, so we pushed our way up to the front and were mesmerized by the demonstration and the beautiful tools surrounding the absinthe ritual. The nice man looked at our eager faces and said, "Girls do you want to fly with the green fairy?" (Slightly dramatized for effect) At that my friend HB, decided that she was not up for the tasting, because she was worried about the hallucinogenic effects (silly girl). The man informed us that the reason absinthe was said to have the psychoactive effects is that wormwood's (main ingredient in absinthe) main essence is thujone which creates the hallucinogenic effect, but in the old days there was a much higher concentration per thousand and now there are a few part per million. He then went on to say that Absinthe is basically an herb drink made with wormwood, anise, and fennel and no sugar... after that I decided that it sounded very healthy.

He served the first tasting straight up and it tasted exactly like Ouzo with more herbs, so for those who have not tried Ouzo- basically unsweetened black licorice. As a Greek, I love Ouzo, so this tasted wonderful, my friend was less impressed and made a sour face. The next tasting was the Absinthe Ritual, where the absinthe is poured into a glass and then water is poured over a sugar cube that rests on a beautiful absinthe spoon. Most people drink it this diluted way, because of the high alcohol taste and content required to keep the herbal taste of absinthe. I loved the ritual and beautiful tools that accompany the ritual, so I inquired where to buy it all. He said he was selling the Absinthe for a mere $60, he would give me a free absinthe spoon (I asked for one for my sis and he willingly obliged), and the beautiful glass pourer was not for sale but I could probably find one online.

Well, my feet didn't go numb and I didn't feel the need to run around chasing a green fairy, but I did enjoy the taste and experience of absinthe.

As a side note:
You may have noticed these pictures are absolutely gorgeous ... and, no, Jen and I did not take a photograhy class and buy new cameras. I had a serendipitous moment when I left my camera at home and noticed a photographer at the event. I introduced myself to Gretchen (Heaven) McArthur and told her my plight and she agreed instantly to share her photos and as you can tell from the shots she is an excellent photographer! Visit her Website
or Blog

1 comment:

  1. Nice post sis, BUT, you never gave me an absinthe spoon. What's up with that?! I want my absinthe spoon!!