Ah, Absinthe. Favored by poets, madmen and a few scientists if I'm any judge. Van Gogh loved the stuff, so did Hemingway. It's also illegal as hell at present, but that's not our issue here. Without getting all Pulp Fiction on you, it breaks down like this:

It's legal to have it, it's legal to drink it, it's just not legal to sell it.

So, since the law was written before Al Gore invented the Internet, you can get the Green Fairy delivered to your door via that Great Bootlegger: DHL Express. Of course I had to get some and try it out.

If you've seen the movie Moulin Rouge, you'll remember the scene where the hero poured a glass of Absinthe by drizzling it over a sugar cube held by a slotted spoon and set it on fire. Although brutally cool by any standard, this is actually a much later Czech ritual, and would be viewed oddly by a contemporaneous observer. The traditional way to serve Absinthe is pour a bit in a glass and add cold water until it louches, or blushes an opaque green-white. This dilutes the rather potent liquor, and let's you know approximately how much water to add, which is a real plus after you've had a few. Color-coded beverages -- now there's a trick for ya'.

The effect is much as you'd expect from drinking any alcohol solvent-based beverage, be it Absinthe, Russian Standard or, heaven forbid, beer. You get a little tipsy which is, of course, expected. What's not expected is the clear-headedness that make Absinthe so unlike drinking vodka, scotch or anything else. It's really quite nice. Reports of hallucinations are just that, reports, and have not so very much basis in fact. You'll have some very colorful dreams, of this I'm certain, but I don't think anyone could drink enough Absinthe to start seeing pink elephants and dancing gyros.

My personal favorite Absinthe is the Nouvelle Orleans, and can be had at:

http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/Jade.html

Not that this has a lot to do with my other musings here, but a number of people have been asking me about it. Salut!