Pop Culture
Aug 15, 2008, 09:41AM

Absent Absinthe

Absinthe was just legalized in the U.S. this year, leading to the first domestic production since 1912. Earnest Hemingway might turn over in his grave to hear this, but after trying it one cosmopolitan student thinks the wormwood liquer is overrated. Of course, maybe if he had exercised a bit more class in his preparation he would have come closer to the authentic experience.

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This is not the absinthe our intrepid author drank.

This year, the United States legalized a psychoactive liquor called absinthe. Ernest Hemingway used to favor it, as did Oscar Wilde. Some people claim that Vincent Van Gogh even cut his ear off while intoxicated from it.

I have always been a "try everything once" kind of guy. Although I didn't feel heavily depressed or like performing self-mutilation, I decided to buy a bottle and see what the hype was about.

I caved in and reluctantly bought a bottle and came home hoping for the best. Maybe I would have a vision or smell colors; perhaps something trippy to get my money's worth.

You are supposed to pour a couple ounces into a glass and then put a perforated spoon (an absinthe spoon) over the glass. Then you place a sugar cube on the spoon, drizzling cold water on the cube until it dissolves and drips down into the liquor.

This looked like the classy thing to do.

But I couldn't find sugar, so I picked up the bottle and chugged.

I barely got one swallow down before I began to gag. The taste is indescribably horrid. I have drunk straight Everclear and chew spit (on accident), yet I almost prefer those to the taste absinthe.

The major taste is black licorice - which I detest - mixed with feces.

To conclude, absinthe is a joke. It's expensive, it tastes apalling, and it apparently makes you pee your pants. Save your money and buy ten bottles of vodka, or whatever it is that you favor.


  • my crew had their own absinthe-tasting experiment. as far as i remember, the kind that is sold in the US is free of wormwood, so no hallucinating is likely. Still, it was a strange drunkenness. Most of what I remember is that we had lots of snacks and at one point we took a box of vanilla graham crackers and a box of chocolate graham crackers and "de-segregated" them. Then later I woke up at five a.m. and threw up the most pure and disgusting vomit yet.

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