Absinth minded

Satan's bath water or elixir of the gods? Absinth has a reputation for ruining lives and livers as well as inspiring some of the most striking art of the 20th century.

‘.‘.’0rcs Jonathan Trew

Van Gogh hacked hrs ear off, stuck rt rn an absrnth bottle and sent the lot off to a whore whrle under rts rnfluence. Hemrngway used the stuff to burld up Dutch courage before frghtrng bulls. Toulouse Lautrec used to carry hrs per- sonal supplres of rt around rn a hollowed Out walkrng strck. Czech presrdent Vaclav Havel rs a fan and Johnny Depp recently shared a bottle wrth Hunter S. Thompson on a prrvate Jet 10urney to Parrs The roll call of famous absrnth drrnkers reads lrke a Who’s Who of the last century’s hell- rarsers and the myths and mystrque surroundrng absrnth are as potent as the drrnk rtself,

It werghs rn at a posrtrvely unhealthy 70% alcohol, as an evrl translucent, green colour and rt smells lrke a cross

It weighs in at a positively unhealthy 70% alcohol, it's an evil translucent, green colour and it smells like a cross between

Campari and dentists' mouthwash.

between Camparr and dentrsts' mouthwash. The rngredrents rnclude wormwood OII, angelrca root, balm, mrnt and copper A doctor recently descrrbed rts effects as lrke rmbrbrng a mrxture of vodka, cannabrs and LSD It tastes JUSI how you rmagrne anaes-

thetrc would and when the stuff hrts yOur stomach rt feels as though you've swallowed a bottle of Tabasco sauce For years, It was Wrdely assumed that absrnth was banned from Brrtarn and, lrke any banned substance, rts desrr- abrlrty rncreased at the same rate as rt became drffrcult to get hold of In fact, whrle rt was banned rn France, Belgrum and vart/erland, rt was never outlawed rn Brrtarn, rt Just fell out of popu- larrty and, conseqorently, rt slowly began to assume a near legendary repu- tatron

Spottrng a gap rn the market, the Green Bohemra company have started rmportrng the drrnk rnto Brrtarn from the Czech Republrc Green Bohemra frgure that as the new mrllennrurn approaches, people wrll be rn a surtably decadent state of mrrrd to thrnk about drrnkrng somethrng that could be used as rocket fuel

There are varrous ways of drrnkrng absrnth The foolhardy can try knockrng rt back strarght and then prckrng therr eyeballs off the floor A margrnally less dangerous method, whrch also has the dubrous benefrt of ailowrng the drrnker to apprecrate the taste of the beast, rs to pour a decent measure rnto a glass, drp a spoonful of sugar rnto the quurd and then l;gnt the sugar As the glucose melts, rt drrps rnto the absrnth and the whole caboodle goes up rn a frreball Douse the flames, add some water and srp Slowly,

Alternatrvely, try a Green Farry Shake two egg whrtes, a shot of absmth, a spoonful of sugar, a measure of grn and a dash of lemon Jurce Pour over rce, Srt down, enjoy and av0rd drrvrng heavy machrnery for a couple of days Some have suggested that the name Green Demon mrght be more appro- prrate

Oblomov's rn Glasgow and the Outhouse rn Edrrrburgh are now stockrng absrnth and, perhaps wrsely, are lrmrtrng customers to two shots

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on rooo PLANTATI-


f. 9.1 .21.; :1

274 CANONGATE, ROYAL MILE, EDINBURGH TEL & max: 0131 557 9583

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Forget all about Christmas. Drink absinth

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1/ Dec 1998 r '08“) THE lIST153