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dr_ordinaire
Long time ago I posted the lyrics of a tango named "Cup of absinthe" [Copa de ajenjo], which was curious because it was recorded way after prohibition.

Now I've found in Lettre International, from Germany, an article by Humberto Berti about absinthe that has further references, including the curious fact that sometimes it was called "suissE" (as in accent on the e).

Note: I will put my translations and comments between brackets []. Some of the words are slang, so translation is approximate.

"Even tango mentioned absinthe and its many look-alikes. The most obvious example is "Cup of absinthe" (Juan Canaro/Carlos Pesce), recorded by Azucena Maizania and Angel Vargas: "And in this cup of absinthe/I hopelessly try/to forget my sorrow".

The drink was also known as SuissE. It is thus named by Nicolas Olivari in "The general store": "It was a snidy excuse to tipple cup after cup of poisonous SuissE". And there's the tango "El pescante" [the guy who drives a carriage] (Piana/Manzi), recorded by Canaro, Demare and Alberto Castillo: "In my adventures/I lived a madness/of love and suissE".

A more or less complete list of tangos that mention pernod has to mention that in "Follow my advice" (Merico/Tronge), recorded by Gardel in 1929, you hear: "...before scarfing [your meal] drench yourself/with more than a few pernods", that "Maula" [Low life], a success of Rosita Quiroga in the twenties, portraits the "gang at the bar/drunk with pernod". or that "He was named Eduardo Arolas", recorded in 1953 by the Angel D'Agostino's orchestra, says that: "Pernod's green poison/was your Bohemian friend..."

It is still debated whether the premature death of "bandoneon" [sort of accordion] player and composer Eduardo Arolas, age 31, in Paris, was owed to absinthe consumption. For some researchers, like Jose Gobello, that is highly probable. Both Arolas, like Gardel and Calicamo, were part of the bohemian scene at Montmartre, so pernod is integral to their life and songs.

But is also possible that other composers related to tango have heard about absinthe through Ruben Dario or Manuel Machado [brother of Antonio Machado, one of the best Spanish poets], author of "The soul of absinthe", or maybe by reading the Colombian poet Julio Florez."

A couple more things that I didn't know. Someone registered and manufactured an absinthe called: "Le Meme". (The same). So when someone asked for an absinthe and the waiter asked: Le meme?, that's the one that got served.

Also that the French language has an expression: "Avaler l'absinthe", which means to swallow or put up with something disagreeable or painful. How did the French came up with this expression while drinking sweet turn-of-the-century absinthe is beyond me...

For those of you who would like an audio-taste bud experience, "Cup of absinthe" [Copa de ajenjo] is available online. I've never heard it myself.
Stroller
"Avaler l'absinthe" - Proof that Hill's was being made?
dr_ordinaire
I knew it, I knew it, I KNEW IT.

That out of the entire post, the one "politically incorrect" part was going to be singled out, historically correct or not.
Head_prosthesis
And I knew you were fishing with that minnow.
Stroller
QUOTE
From old times, the wormwood (that grows in all Europe, except in the North end) had been used with medicinal aims. An Egyptian papyrus of the 1,600 a.C mentions it by its tonic, diuréticas and antiseptic virtues. Hipócrates recommended against the ictericia and Galen against the malaria. Etimológicamente, “absinthium” means in Greek “devoid of dulzor” or “impossible to drink”. In French the expression exists “to avaler l'absinthe” (to swallow the wormwood) that means to support something disagreeable or painful with stoicism. According to it seems, the winners in the old Olympic games were forced to drink a drink mixed with wormwood so that, to the time that savored the success, they did not forget the last bitterness and defeats.


IMHO - I think you quote refers to something made bitter for a specific purpose & not for commercial distribution.

The Green Fairy by Eduardo Berti
traineraz
QUOTE(Head_prosthesis @ Jul 13 2006, 05:50 PM) *

And I knew you were fishing with that minnow.


Opaque as Czechsinth.
Gertz
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 14 2006, 01:37 AM) *

Also that the French language has an expression: "Avaler l'absinthe", which means to swallow or put up with something disagreeable or painful. How did the French came up with this expression while drinking sweet turn-of-the-century absinthe is beyond me...

Remember that 'absinthe' in french simply means wormwood - they have no specific name for the drink. The expression "swallow the wormwood" doesn't refer to this particular drink - it is probably way older.
dr_ordinaire
QUOTE(Head_prosthesis @ Jul 13 2006, 06:50 PM) *

And I knew you were fishing with that minnow.


You know me too well, you bastard!

Love ya, Head...
Lord Stanley
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 13 2006, 06:37 PM) *

...a tango named "Cup of absinthe" [Copa de ajenjo]...


Is it April 1st again already?
Absomphe
QUOTE(Head_prosthesis @ Jul 13 2006, 06:50 PM) *

And I knew you were fishing with that minnow.


I thought O had a trout, at least according to him.

Or was that just another fish story?
Head_prosthesis
Happy Bastille Day, Dr. O!
Absomphe
This was my Dad's birthday, too.

I used to refer to it as Bastid Day, after his pet nickname for me.

So, whatever you call, have a joyous one, Doc, and don't be bitter. abs-cheers.gif
Amdusias
mmmm....reading all of the above with clarity of mind and soul.....

fishing
minnow
wormwood
trout

I refuse to be baited by these attempts to invoke puns....

dr_ordinaire
<looking confused>

Well, thank you one and all for the Bastille Day congratulations, but I'm from... hmm... Buenos Aires...
Jack Batemaster
I thought you were from Paraguay? blink.gif
G&C
It's hard to keep up with one's puppets when you lose the character notes.
Absomphe
I hear exile is fairly common form of punishment way down south.
Nymphadora
We prefer lynching, thank you.
Head_prosthesis
It was the only holiday I could come up with, Doc.
(We had Marie Antoinette cake today)
I did like the tango story though.


Kirk
Thanks O, I never noticed thew connection before, I'll bet 6 got a kick out of it.
Artemis
"That out of the entire post, the one "politically incorrect" part was going to be singled out, historically correct or not."

Don't hide a sardine under a tea cozy and then act surprised when someone sniffs.

The "meme" absinthe has been discussed right here, years ago.

The French expression means to take something bitter - absinthe means wormwood, not necessarily liquor.

Happy batard day to you anyway, though.
Absomphe
QUOTE(Nymphadora @ Jul 14 2006, 09:57 PM) *

We prefer lynching, thank you.


I meant considerably farther south.

PTFA, Nymph.
sixela
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 14 2006, 08:32 PM) *

<looking confused>

Well, thank you one and all for the Bastille Day congratulations, but I'm from... hmm... Buenos Aires...


Porteño, eh? A milonguero as well, given you're talking about tango?
hartsmar
Is this in any way related to that Mango absinthe?
dr_ordinaire
Jack: If I'm from Paraguay, you are from Costa Rica...

Arty et al: Yes, "absinthe" refers both to the drink and to the plant. However, the French, as far as we know, did not consume the plant in any other form than as absinthe (the drink).

They did not drink wormwood tea, wormwood soups or wormwood consommes. They drank absinthe.

So, when they talked about "avaler l'absinthe", as swallowing something disagreeable or bitter, they were talking about the drink.

Sorry if you dudes insist on being in denial. You are not arguing with me. I have no idea how absinthe tasted. You are arguing with what the French circa 1900 said.

I must commend you for your... steadfastness. I have quoted historical sources for some 5 years now, and you still choose to believe the "designated tasters..." who are selling you the absinthes that taste the way they say authentic absinthe should taste...

OooKeey....
Stroller
frusty.gif
Absomphe
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 24 2006, 08:16 PM) *

Jack: If I'm from Paraguay, you are from Costa Rica...




I don't know where you're from, O, but "she's" from Jamaica. evill.gif
Lord Stanley
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 24 2006, 10:16 PM) *

I must commend you for your... steadfastness.

Touché
thegreenimp
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 24 2006, 09:16 PM) *

Jack: If I'm from Paraguay, you are from Costa Rica...

Arty et al: Yes, "absinthe" refers both to the drink and to the plant. However, the French, as far as we know, did not consume the plant in any other form than as absinthe (the drink).

They did not drink wormwood tea, wormwood soups or wormwood consommes. They drank absinthe.

So, when they talked about "avaler l'absinthe", as swallowing something disagreeable or bitter, they were talking about the drink.

Sorry if you dudes insist on being in denial. You are not arguing with me. I have no idea how absinthe tasted. You are arguing with what the French circa 1900 said.

I must commend you for your... steadfastness. I have quoted historical sources for some 5 years now, and you still choose to believe the "designated tasters..." who are selling you the absinthes that taste the way they say authentic absinthe should taste...

OooKeey....



Still trying to justify your fuck up after all these years.

Marc Campbell said it best about you.
IPB Image

For the newer ones out there, Dumbass Dr. O colored his poorly made HG with wormwood, making a horribly bitter mess, then bragged about his noxious swill, much to the amusement of everyone at Fee Verte.
sixela
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 25 2006, 04:16 AM) *

Jack: If I'm from Paraguay, you are from Costa Rica...

Arty et al: Yes, "absinthe" refers both to the drink and to the plant. However, the French, as far as we know, did not consume the plant in any other form than as absinthe (the drink).


One wonders, then, why wormwood is known as a medicinal plant even in Pline's writings. In some Dutch writings that predate absinthe, wormwood is often cited as a remedy against fever (much like quinine would become later), and many virtues are ascribed to it all over the world, so it's not that much of a stretch to think that wormwood infusions (probably just as vile as King of Spirits or Zelena Musa) were used as medicines.

QUOTE

I have no idea how absinthe tasted


Well, I do and you don't (which, apparently, doesn't stop you from continuing to argue).

And don't tell me the bitterness in my sample of ca. 1910 Pernod Fils somehow magically disappeared, unless you're prepared to give a detailed mechanism for this magical loss of bitterness (and to explain why all those French - who had quite a sweet tooth in the 19th century - drank so much of it).
Kirk
QUOTE
when they talked about "avaler l'absinthe", as swallowing something disagreeable or bitter, they were talking about the drink

No, they were referring to a bitter herb called "undrinkable" in the bible. This herb found it's way into folklore of all types long before the drink was invented.
sixela
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jul 25 2006, 04:01 PM) *

QUOTE
when they talked about "avaler l'absinthe", as swallowing something disagreeable or bitter, they were talking about the drink

No, they were referring to a bitter herb called "undrinkable" in the bible.

"apsinthion" isn't even derived from the Greek for "undrinkable" - it's an urban legend.
dr_ordinaire
Oh please...

EVERY country in the world has read the Bible and about wormwood. How come the French are the only ones that have incorporated absinthe's bitterness as a "meme"?

Look, I am not saying that ALL absinthe was bitter. What I'm saying is that the vast majority of opinions about the taste of absinthe, by the people who drank it, called it bitter.

And to those who presume to know how absinthe tasted, you are full of shit. You know how 100+ absinthe tastes, and that is a very different animal. Remember, guys, that we were indoctrinated by our resident chemist that chop.gif was a very resilient molecule and levels in pre-ban absinthe now reflected levels then?

Well, now we know that that is bullshit. What other molecules have changed? There is a reason why people pay good money for aged whiskey. It tastes better.

Imp, you are pathetic.
sixela
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 26 2006, 12:41 AM) *

Oh please...

EVERY country in the world has read the Bible and about wormwood. How come the French are the only ones that have incorporated absinthe's bitterness as a "meme"?

Because they aren't.

QUOTE

Look, I am not saying that ALL absinthe was bitter. What I'm saying is that the vast majority of opinions about the taste of absinthe, by the people who drank it, called it bitter.

They also called it pleasant. And it is bitter - only mildly so. It all depends on what you compare it with, and the French did have an exceptionally sweet tooth at the time.

QUOTE
You know how 100+ absinthe tastes, and that is a very different animal.


I can assure you that some of the PF from the Cannes cache tasted as if it had been distilled a few years ago (Serge Helfrich remarked upon the fact that it almost tasted like an HGer playing a cruel joke on us, to which I retorted I certainly wanted to meet that guy wink.gif ). But you wouldn't know, because you didn't drink any.

QUOTE

Remember, guys, that we were indoctrinated by our resident chemist that chop.gif was a very resilient molecule and levels in pre-ban absinthe now reflected levels then?

Well, now we know that that is bullshit.


No, we don't. Unless you happen to have preserved the absinthe cultivar chemotype used in PF, there's little you can say.

QUOTE

What other molecules have changed?

Many - to give but one example, chlorophyll A and B have lost their magnesium atom. Well, most of the time - some of the Cannes cache was still surprisingly green.

QUOTE
There is a reason why people pay good money for aged whiskey. It tastes better.
So does aged absinthe, up to a point, but I've also tasted a sample of Bazinet showing that it isn't inevitable for it to improve regardless of the conditions.

Of the Cannes cache samples, it appears the greenest ones also tasted better than the other ones, from what I can gather, so ageing under aggressive conditions (too much light or extreme temperatures or temperature variations) or for too long doesn't necessarily improve things.

Gertz
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 26 2006, 01:41 AM) *

And to those who presume to know how absinthe tasted, you are full of shit. You know how 100+ absinthe tastes, and that is a very different animal.

I know how 100 year old absinthe tastes.
I know how 50 year old absinthe tastes.
I know how 40 year old absinthe tastes.
I know how absinthe made recently from old recipes tastes.
grey boy
Useless fucks,
I thought someone started a thread
about how great Yo la Tengo were.
Bastards.
hartsmar
Dr O is great!

I chime in with Gertz.
And add to that, 30 year old absinthe, 20 year old absinthe, 10 year old absinthe and... Oh. never mind.

Maybe you should stop chewing wormwood before you have your drinks, Dr O. I honestly do think that would help.
dr_ordinaire
QUOTE(sixela @ Jul 25 2006, 05:41 PM) *

QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 26 2006, 12:41 AM) *

Oh please...

EVERY country in the world has read the Bible and about wormwood. How come the French are the only ones that have incorporated absinthe's bitterness as a "meme"?

"Because they aren't."

You mean: "Because they haven't". Tsk, tsk... That's OK. Well, I doubt that someone had invented the "avaler l'absinthe" saying. Or are you suggesting that I did? And no, they were not talking about drinking some obscure wormwood potion. They were talking about the most popular drink in France. Of course, you could choose to deny that historical fact. You wouldn't be the first, in this Forum.

QUOTE

Look, I am not saying that ALL absinthe was bitter. What I'm saying is that the vast majority of opinions about the taste of absinthe, by the people who drank it, called it bitter.

"They also called it pleasant. And it is bitter - only mildly so. It all depends on what you compare it with, and the French did have an exceptionally sweet tooth at the time."

Yes, some have called it pleasant. I did some serious historical search on this one, and I would say that 1 in 20 comments praised absinthe's taste.

QUOTE
You know how 100+ absinthe tastes, and that is a very different animal.


"I can assure you that some of the PF from the Cannes cache tasted as if it had been distilled a few years ago (Serge Helfrich remarked upon the fact that it almost tasted like an HGer playing a cruel joke on us, to which I retorted I certainly wanted to meet that guy wink.gif ). But you wouldn't know, because you didn't drink any."

You are a smart guy, Six, and you like to be precise in your words, and I'm amazed you don't see the solipsism in your comment. NOBODY knows how traditional absinthe tasted, (obviously), but you know that one modern absinthe is closer to it than another one.

QUOTE

Remember, guys, that we were indoctrinated by our resident chemist that chop.gif was a very resilient molecule and levels in pre-ban absinthe now reflected levels then?

Well, now we know that that is bullshit.


"No, we don't. Unless you happen to have preserved the absinthe cultivar chemotype used in PF, there's little you can say."

Absinthe cultivar chemotype? Stick to literature, Six.

QUOTE

What other molecules have changed?

Many - to give but one example, chlorophyll A and B have lost their magnesium atom. Well, most of the time - some of the Cannes cache was still surprisingly green.

QUOTE
There is a reason why people pay good money for aged whiskey. It tastes better.
So does aged absinthe, up to a point, but I've also tasted a sample of Bazinet showing that it isn't inevitable for it to improve regardless of the conditions.

"Of the Cannes cache samples, it appears the greenest ones also tasted better than the other ones, from what I can gather, so ageing under aggressive conditions (too much light or extreme temperatures or temperature variations) or for too long doesn't necessarily improve things.
"

So... you don't have the foggiest idea of how traditional absinthe tastes like.
Jack Batemaster
het.gif I drink beer.
Absomphe
That' sour Jack!
Stroller
Bitter to the end.
Absomphe
Um, no.

He's not overly enamored of hops, actually.
dr_ordinaire
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Jul 27 2006, 07:43 AM) *

Dr O is great!

I chime in with Gertz.
And add to that, 30 year old absinthe, 20 year old absinthe, 10 year old absinthe and... Oh. never mind.

Maybe you should stop chewing wormwood before you have your drinks, Dr O. I honestly do think that would help.


I don't chew wormwood, Hartsmar. I do respect my drugs.

I don't believe that what you buy as absinthe is absinthe, either.

But, if it makes you happy, who am I to discourage you from spending 100 bucks on some glorified pastis?
Absinthesizer
QUOTE(dr_ordinaire @ Jul 13 2006, 05:37 PM) *
Also that the French language has an expression: "Avaler l'absinthe", which means to swallow or put up with something disagreeable or painful. How did the French came up with this expression while drinking sweet turn-of-the-century absinthe is beyond me...
Are you certain the French really have this expression? A Google search brings up only two references on the entire web. One is a 2002 article in Spanish by Eduardo Berti, which gives no source and simply asserts that there is such an expression; the other is from Eugene Sue's 1842/43 novel, "Les mysteres de Paris," from Project Gutenberg.

Here's the passage from Sue:
QUOTE
Rigolette entra, portant une petite bouteille d'absinthe.

--Merci, mam'zelle; êtes-vous complaisante! dit la vieille; puis elle
ajouta: Tiens, vieux chéri, _siffle-moi_ ça, ça va te remettre.

Et Anastasie, approchant vivement la fiole des lèvres de M. Pipelet,
entreprit de lui faire avaler l'absinthe.

Alfred eut beau se débattre courageusement, sa femme, profitant de la
faiblesse de sa victime, lui maintint la tête d'une main ferme et, de
l'autre, lui introduisit le goulot de la petite bouteille entre les
dents, et le força de boire l'absinthe; après quoi elle s'écria
triomphalement:

--Et alllllez donc! Te voilà sur tes pattes, vieux chéri!

En effet, Alfred, après s'être essuyé la bouche du revers de la main,
ouvrit ses yeux, se leva debout et demanda d'un ton encore effarouché:
Now, my French is, to put it politely, non-existent, but it appears that the phrase is not used as an expression here; someone is actually swallowing absinthe (which seems to be mentioned a fair number of times in the novel).

If this is the case, then there are no instances of this so-called expression in actual use on the entire web. To put this in context, Googling "Asaphus kotlukovi," a rare Ordivician trilobite, returns over 200 hits.
brucer
In the UK we call our main kind of indigenous beer "Bitter".

Does Dr O. think I should add sugar too it ?

Considering the French put sugar in coffee and tea, I am not surprised that they added it to herb-flavoured gin either.

Come to think of it, many people add sugar-water (lemonade) to English "bitter" to make "Shandy".

So that proves it. English beer (aka "bitter") tastes strongly bitter and needs sugar added to it to make it drinkable.

Bruce
Absomphe
I think the typical American Bud drinker might not appreciate the sarcasm intended your post, Bruce.

Dr. O might, but he probably won't admit it.
Steyr850
Ricky Bobby would get it anyway
Absomphe
Fuck Ricky Bobby and the car drove in in.
dr_ordinaire
..
[/quote]Are you certain the French really have this expression? A Google search brings up only two references on the entire web. One is a 2002 article in Spanish by Eduardo Berti, which gives no source and simply asserts that there is such an expression; the other is from Eugene Sue's 1842/43 novel, "Les mysteres de Paris," from Project Gutenberg.

No, I am not a native French speaker, so I'm not sure. Mr. Berti seems to know French, and in any case it would seem highly unlikely that he would make up this expression. Maybe Peter can help here?
Lord Stanley
QUOTE(Absinthesizer @ Aug 11 2006, 12:10 AM) *

A Google search brings up only two references on the entire web.


You should have used Googlé for your search. wacko.gif
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