Absinthe

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Mike, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Mike

    Mike Senior member

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    Well, we've discussed scotch and vodka, so how about absinthe. I hear it's "different." I'm not going to put on strobe lights and crank up The Jefferson Airplane or try to recreate the life of Hunter S. Thompson, but I'd like to try some. I know its illegal to make in the U.S, but is it available in Canada? Is it against U.S. customs regulations to bring it into the U.S. because a friend of mine is going to Germany in a few weeks. Anybody got any info?
     
  2. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Absinth is easiest to get in the Czech republic or Slovakia, although you may be able to get it in Germany as well. It's probably technically illegal to bring into the US, but I have brought a couple bottles through customs w/o issues. It will cost about $15-50 a bottle in Prague depending on which one you get. I would recommend getting the one with the picture of Van Gogh on the front, or the Zelena brand.
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Senior member

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    From my limited knowledge of spirits you still cannot purchase "real" absinthe. It's derived from wormwood that has hallucengenic properties and is therefore banned throughout North America. The stuff you can purchase in Canada and the US doesn't contain these properities. As for bringing it back from Europe, my friend was in Spain recently and brought a bottle back to Canada without much trouble. He told the customs agent it was wine and they didn't ask any further questions. However, I think he just got lucky, hope this helps.

    Aaron
     
  4. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Apparently my friend just told me that you can now buy it in Hungary, and perhaps western Europe as well, so maybe you will be able to bring it back. Especially during the holidays, I'd doubt they'd really check what it was, when I came back I had six bottles of liquor of various kinds and they didn't say a word.
     
  5. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    Perhaps J or Mnemonic would like to comment on the Absinthe night they had a while back?
     
  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Perhaps Mr. Mnemonic can join us on this subject; I seem to have a fuzzy recollection of the night the absinthe died at my apartment. I do remember awakening to find the nearby traffic light mysteriously shattered, among other things. Careful with that stuff, kids.

    Edit: though I'm not sure if he was even present for the events in question as there were at least 8-10 people there that night, IMMSMC.
     
  7. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I saw it recently for sale in germany. i had a bottle in my bar for about 3 years and never had occasion to try it so I ended up giving it away to a college student friend of my wife's, along with the rest of my bar (when I moved)
     
  9. ROT

    ROT Senior member

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    I tired a shot of the stuff last summer in France. They're making it again under governement controls. Which means the wormwood is left out. At 140 proof (70%), it was amazingly smooth. One shot was enough for me, though. Tasted like chilled Pernod, really. The drinking contraptions associated with it are lots of fun to play around with.
     
  10. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    I think that without the wormwood, its not really absinthe, just a fascimile. In fact one of the definitions of absinthe is common wormwood. I would imagine some clandestine version of real absinthe is still available somewhere.

    ab·sinthe also ab·sinth     P   Pronunciation Key  (bsnth)

    A perennial aromatic European herb (Artemisia absinthium), naturalized in eastern North America and having pinnatifid, silvery silky leaves and numerous nodding flower heads. Also called common wormwood.

    A green liqueur having a bitter anise or licorice flavor and a high alcohol content, prepared from absinthe and other herbs, and now prohibited in many countries because of its toxicity.
     
  11. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    It was a favorite of E. Allen Poe. Read his stories and I think you'll get a good feel for what drinking a lot of absinthe might do to your psyche.
     
  12. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Interesting you mention it tastes like Pernod, I believe Pernod was originally created as a legal stand-in for absinthe. I could be wrong.

    Lots of good Impressionist art with absinthe as a theme or apparent motivator.
     
  13. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    The bottles I have contain 30 mg of wormwood and were purchased in the Czech republic.
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Senior member

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    Thanks for all the help, guys. I asked my friend today to pick me up some when he goes to Germany in 2 weeks. I mentioned the customs stuff and he told me a story about when he came back with about 6 cases of German beer 2 or 3 years ago. Customs guys just smiled and let him go on his way.
     
  15. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    I've had the Parisian, Bulgarian and Czech stuff.

    I took it through US Customs, be it legal or not. In fact, they searched everything in my bags with the exception of the sweater into which I had rolled the bottle.

    I know it's available, by name, in London.

    Can anyone let us know if in fact any absinthe still contains wormwood.
     

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