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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe in the News & in the Media
Artemis
Who would have thought absinthe would be prominent in a piece on an everyday news-type website, yet mentioned only in passing, a mere ingredient? True, it's a New Orleans website, but still ...

http://www.nola.com/drink/index.ssf/2010/0..._ready_for.html

And it's a shameless promotion for a given product (note hyper-linked product name), but still ...
Tibro
If it wasn't for cocktails would anybody even still be thinking about, let alone actually drinking, that licorice-tasting crap?
absinthist
You mean Bluecoat gin?
Tibro
On a more serious note, yes, even for a vanity or pr or spot-promotion piece (however one labels these commercial bits of advertorial verbiage) it must seem exceedingly strange in its calm demeanor for someone who was in the trenches back in the "old days". Like the unimaginable appearing before your eyes. Shocking, the distance that's been covered in a relatively short time. And then, think about it, what will the surprising reality be in 10 or 15 years from now, as concerns absinthe?
Provenance
That anyone still drinks it.
Tibro
At all?

Or paying money for CO?
Provenance
I expect the absinthe fad to go the way of cigar bars. What will be left will be the occasional use of absinthe in cocktails and, just as before it became popular, a relative handful of hardcore absinthe drinkers crotchpunching the hell out of each other.
Jaded Prole
My people!
Wild Bill Turkey
The backlash against absinthe started well before the "fad" had a chance to get rolling.

I saw it happening here in San Francisco, a city choked with hip, in-the-know bartenders at the forefront of the "Cocktail Revolution". Almost as soon as the first bottles of legal absinthe started hitting stores, these asshats started acting like they were over the hype, and you couldn't talk to any of them about absinthe without getting their rolled eyes and blasé attitude about an "overhyped, overexposed" liquor that, in fact, they still knew next to fucking nothing about.

I see it time and again where I work. An interested guest walks up to our bar and asks the bartender about absinthe. The celebrity mixologist will breath a long, "knowing" sigh of patience and begin his diatribe about the stuff, as if he's been hammered with information since birth about some lightweight, fruity fad liqueur that isn't worth the attention.

In actual fact, these hipster bartenders get about 3/4 of their information right, and only one in ten seems to have the capacity to taste the drink with an open mind and see past the fact that one of the taste components is similar to licorice. These are people whose lives and careers center on their ability to taste subtle nuances in booze and glorify these qualities, but when it comes to absinthe, they simply shut down their tastebuds and their brains and turn into martyred artists cursed by having to discuss some airhead trend that's completely beneath them.

I generally wait until the bartender is helping someone else and re-approach the customer, giving them answers to their original question, and starting to feed them the kind of information they need to find and taste decent absinthe. The bartenders at my place know this is my area of geekdom, so when they catch me talking to a guest who's asked about the subject, they cut me some slack, chuckling to themselves with the attitude that it's better to let the newbie bartender geek out on this shit than waste his own valuable time.
Provenance
The absinthe fad hasn't effected me. I drank absinthe before it was popular or legal in the States and will keep on drinking it irrespective of whatever happens in pop culture.

I will, however, be glad when the cocktail craze goes the way of the 8-track tape and the word "mixologist" is buried in the same graveyard as "domestic engineer."
Tibro
A domestic engineer should be, by definition, a mixologist. But only if capable of delivering a well-executed Crotch Punch as well.
Green Baron
I hear folks claim they've been drinking absinthe before it was cool, but I think there needs to be some differentiation. It's kinda been a fuckin' trend since the early '90s, even if none of the real stuff was to be found. If you've been drinking and helping resurrect authentic absinthe in the midst of the trend- before anyone knew what the fuck the real stuff was- that's awesome, but it doesn't seem to me like quite the same thing.

But unless we were drinking pre-ban/vintage, absentas or la bleues prior to '91 or so, we shouldn't stroke ourselves too vigorously for being so cool that we have nothing to do with anything remotely trendy. Even if our motivations for absinthusiasm are more passionate and honest than the truly trendy, capricious and vapid.

It's also true though that the U.S. "legalization" of absinthe brought on a new wave of the trend, in a crescendo of know-nothing asshats who think they know it all*. I've run into a surprising number of 'em, and yeah it can be intolerable. But I just gotta take it in stride, knowing that at home I've got my kickass U.S. absinthes; the dipshits can go ahead and miss the point as always. But if having to deal with them is the price I have to pay to get access to xit like Pacifique, DP, Leopold Bros. etc, then it's worth it.

*Wild Bill's post on the cocktail scene was awesome; it's funny that I've even encountered the same attitude from a few liquor store employees and assorted other jackasses.

I'm ramblin' but I've been mulling over the "trend" issue quite a bit lately. Whatever, I need a drink.
Tibro
Okay, so define "trendy". Nevermind, Websters has done it for us:
QUOTE

Main Entry: trendy
Pronunciation: \ˈtren-dē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): trend·i·er; trend·i·est
Date: 1962

1 : very fashionable : up-to-date <he's a trendy dresser — Sunday Mirror>
2 : marked by ephemeral, superficial, or faddish appeal or taste <trendy ideas about success>

— trend·i·ly \-də-lē\ adverb
— trend·i·ness \-dē-nəs\ noun
— trendy \-dē\ noun


I think calling a commodity that was in the early 90's, for all intent and purposes, illicit "very fashionable" even then has got to be a bit off the mark. It's procurement took time, money and energy to a degree which would rather qualify it as elitist, not as "very fashionable". "Up-to-date"? More like "ahead of (or far behind) its time". The pioneers of the rebirth were not being "trendy". There just wasn't enough social awareness of absinthe to make it's consumption an act of trendiness. At least, I don't see it that way at all.

I'm not even sure that it's "trendy" now, although Wild Bill's anecdotal evidence is cozying up to the secondary definition.
Green Baron
Hmm. I recall references to absinthe- mostly imaginary/artistic pop references- were considered up-to-date among certain groups- say the mall-goth crowd or the tattoo & piercing crowd (just to give examples of two burgeoning subcultures that embraced the idea), etc- probably heavily influenced by '90s movies we all know- Francis Bram Coppola Stoker's Dracula, From Hell and Moulin Rouge, the NIN video, yadda yadda. One can also find a bunch of old (and even some current) Mypace and other pages that have all the graphics and bling or whatnot with many absinthe/absinth/green fairy references.

So not quite as mainstream then, but I'm sayin' the idea of absinthe has been considered very fashionable for quite awhile now.

I've just kinda picked up on a "I was cool before it was cool to be cool, man" vibe that seems kinda silly in that context. But as I said, I'm not dissing those involved in the rediscovery of truth and imbibers of the real thing when it was only a fantasy to many. And I can definitely empathize with those who strived to acquire and enjoy the real deal, which, now within easy reach, goes unappreciated by many (who have probably tried LTV, Gland Absente, or even that funky funky Lucid and dismissed it).

It's interesting to me that even as a major cultural phenomenon in Belle Epoque France, when you couldn't take a leak without hitting a bottle of absinthe (and back when it had never been illicit), it still had a mystique about it; counterculture types and artists still embraced it as something special (as opposed to regarding with disdain as being too ordinary), and wrong-headed prudes still considered it decadent and sinful.
Tibro
Funny, but I think, without exception, every pop reference to absinthe over the course of the past two decades I've learned about here first and very few, if any, have I independently picked-up on in society-at-large afterwards. Probably says more about my relationship to popular culture than anything else, but I'd guess I'm not alone in that respect among the crowd here. And, yes, I realize someone must be dragging those references in here.

Trendy by accident?

“In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.” - William S. Burroughs
Green Baron
Well, I suppose I could buy that. Especially considering that when I decided to check it out it occurred to me as a whim- I was bored, had some time and dough to burn, and wanted to play with weird substances (my "joined" date here is literally the day I learned about real absinthe). But I was completely unaware that Lucid and Kubler were just hitting the US at the time.
Jaded Prole
QUOTE
absinthusiasm


Nice.

I'm not sure about "Gland Absinthe" though, is that Polish?
sixela
QUOTE(Tibro @ Jul 16 2010, 07:38 AM) *
even then has got to be a bit off the mark. It's procurement


No, it's not.
Tibro
But yes, yes it is procurement, among other things, that kept absinthe from being really trendy.

Don't pull that revisionist crap on me, ass-hat.
thegreenimp
QUOTE(Provenance @ Jul 15 2010, 03:39 PM) *

The absinthe fad hasn't effected me. I drank absinthe before it was popular or legal in the States and will keep on drinking it irrespective of whatever happens in pop culture.


'Till they pry my cold dead fingers from my favorite glass.


QUOTE
I will, however, be glad when the cocktail craze goes the way of the 8-track tape and the word "mixologist" is buried in the same graveyard as "domestic engineer."


In part, I hope not…..there are some good long lost products that have reappeared because of the interest in the craze .

I will be glad to see some of the asshats fade away with their flaming bartop shows.
Kirk
Absinthe is not dead, the revival is dead, a revival, by definition dies, once the thing is revived, the revival is done.
There are more people drinking absinthe today than there was a year ago, and a year before that and so on, right back to the day Kallisti made her first post.
The problem, as I see it, is the difficulty in buying a bottle of good absinthe. I'm quite offended by the swill masters who put a product in front of the public and by doing so, permanently lower that persons opinion of the whole category by giving them the impression that absinthe tastes like crap.
Jaded Prole
It seems the swill makers are better at business than they are at distilling as the crap has all but monopolized the shelf space. Tourment and LeFee are ubiquitous and better brands have to be searched for. Crap better fits the business model as it is easier and less expensive to produce resulting in a higher profit margin.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(thegreenimp @ Jul 16 2010, 08:06 AM) *


QUOTE
I will, however, be glad when the cocktail craze goes the way of the 8-track tape and the word "mixologist" is buried in the same graveyard as "domestic engineer."


In part, I hope not…..there are some good long lost products that have reappeared because of the interest in the craze .


I agree. And it does take talent, skill and passion to be an adept "mixologist". Absinthe may partly not be given proper dues by mixologists because it is not the centerpiece of most cocktails that call for it, but rather just an expensive added flavoring. A few contemporary cocktail writers give it its proper due, and it can be great in a select few (only three I can think of) recipes, but I think it is out of place in most cocktails.

But I think for our purposes most of us are not interested in absinthe as a cocktail ingredient, but rather as a drink in itself, making the mixologist irrelevant in regards to absinthe. I wouldn't expect any mixologist to be enthusiastic about a drink made by slowly dripping iced water into one ingredient, as that process pretty much runs contrary to what the mixologist's job is. If I want a good Sazerac, I'll ask the master bartender at Dutch Kills or Little Branch or PDT because those guys know what the fuck they're doing. If I want an absinthe, I ask for an ounce in the glass and a carafe of iced water and don't let anybody else, no matter how good of a mixologist they are, touch it.

It's too bad, as I wish it was possible for the belle-epoque café culture to return, in which one sat down at a table and when they ordered absinthe, they were handed an ounce of absinthe, a carafe of iced water and whatever they needed to make their absinthe how THEY wanted it to be made, much like what happens if you order coffee at a café now, where you've got milk, sugar and spoon at the table. But I suppose that's having false nostalgia for something I never experienced…
Provenance
I can't think of a more honorable job title than bartender or more absurd, pretentious one than mixologist.
Artemis
My "played out" subtitle was sarcastic and maybe not well-chosen, as it didn't really go to the point, which for me was, it's surprising and maybe ironic that an article prominently features a bottle of absinthe (American, at that) and there is no mention of Van Gogh, or France, or chop.gif, or any of that - just "buy a bottle of this, and use a few drops along with this other stuff to make this (purportedly) tasty drink". It gives the impression that absinthe has made a rather smooth transition from legendary poison to accessible ingredient, and maybe it has.
dakini_painter
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 16 2010, 12:41 PM) *

It's too bad, as I wish it was possible for the belle-epoque café culture to return, in which one sat down at a table and when they ordered absinthe, they were handed an ounce of absinthe, a carafe of iced water and whatever they needed to make their absinthe how THEY wanted it to be made


Try Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg. You can even get my swill there. Also if you ask for DP-sinthe at Project Parlor you should be able to get it how you want it. May be a few other places, but those come to mind. Sorry that the other places you mentioned don't have it, but they've never ordered it. I'm sure there's good absinthe there, and exceptional cocktails. Say hi to Mickey at Dutch Kills. I'm sure LeNell sends her love too.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Provenance @ Jul 16 2010, 01:15 PM) *

I can't think of a more honorable job title than bartender or more absurd, pretentious one than mixologist.


I'm fine with calling them bartender instead. I suspect the guys at the bars I've gone to that impressed me most (Mickey at Dutch Kills being one of them) probably don't call themselves "Mixologist" anyway. I don't think any schools offer a PhD in their version of ethanol-based chemistry….

That being said, the people at the places I mentioned are great because both of us could have the same recipe (there is more than one drink I've ordered from them where we both got the recipe from Ted Haigh's book), and yet what they would make with the same ingredients will somehow taste better than the supposedly identical drink I made.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 16 2010, 09:41 AM) *

I wouldn't expect any mixologist to be enthusiastic about a drink made by slowly dripping iced water into one ingredient, as that process pretty much runs contrary to what the mixologist's job is.

Definitely true, but then these same bartenders love their scotches, bourbons and ryes. Order one of their favorites neat or on the rocks and they'll chat with you about its perfection all night. They can wax poetic about the nuances in a glass of wine, and the differences between a "London Dry" gin, a small-batch botanical gin, or a trendy summer gin.

But mention absinthe and it's "That black-licorice tasting crap? Why don't you go paint your nails black and let the grownups talk?"
Artemis
A bartender in a trendy Michigan town once treated me to free glasses of various wines and expounded upon them (I wouldn't have known any of them from Thunderbird) after absinthe had come up and I had offered to bring some in for him to try. This was quite a few years ago. I never delivered, though - as I remember I had a visit from Head Prosthesis in the interim and we drank everything I had in one night, and it wasn't exactly easy to get back then. I was sufficiently impressed with one of the wines that I even bought a bottle or two later - it came from the winery of Fess Parker, of Daniel Boone TV fame.
G&C
He was a man.
Artemis
A bigggggggg man.

But the bear was bigger, so he ran ...
G&C
But not quicker than the bear…
Absomphe
Who can?
Green Baron
Tucan! But just because you can doesn't mean you should do the can can.
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