Primal Scream swear by it, so, when we mention Absinth, you know we're talking about a serious brew.

Absinth is now available in Scotland again after an absence of more than half a century. The potent potion made from wormwood, angelica root, fennel, copper and indigo has a liver-worrying alcohol volume of 70% and was banned in turn-of-the-century Europe and America amid fears that it turned you into a hallucinating mentalist.

Celebrity tipplers have included Picasso, Hemingway, Van Gogh, Baudelaire, Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson, and you can join these clean-living sorts by buying Absinth at The Outhouse (£4 a shot) in Edinburgh or Glasgow’s Oblomov (£3.50 a shot). Be warned though: they will only serve a maxrmum of two shots per person. Absinth is also available by mail order at http://wwwabsinthcouk on the Internet, priced £45 per bottle.

(Peter Ross)

See Food News, page 733.

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The Last Gold Diggers

Harry Horse lS certainly honest about his work, describing his illustrated tales which both children and adults will lap up as ’a mixture of exaggeration and lies, which IS something I’ve done all my life.’ His stories are also dramatic, funny and touching, not to mention prize- wrnning. The former political cartoonist for Scot/and on Sunday has recently snapped up a Nestle Smarties Gold Award for The Last Gold Diggers, the second in a trilogy starring Roo the dog, Grandfather and his eccentric relatives. ’The strangest thing about it IS that it appeals to young children,’ snorts the perplexed Horse. ’I Just wrote something my wrfe would enjoy' (Brian Donaldson) The Last Go/d Diggers and The Last Polar Bears are pub/ished by Puffin, £3.99 each. The Last Cowboys is out in March and The Last Po/ar Bears is to be made into an animated film for /TV.

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