OK, again, not a very lofty bucket list item – but (again) not many of my bucket list items, are. So – why absinthe? Well, I just couldn’t help it… over the years, the literary & arts lover in me had conjured up romanticized images in my mind of sitting around an old Sherlock Holmes-esque English parlor having marvelous, deeply intellectual conversations with fascinating people about the arts, philosophy & religion – all while partaking in the ritualistic sipping of a glass of absinthe, involving an intricate-looking beverage contraption… fancy, huh?
So, as I’m always on the lookout, opportunity finally knocked and I got my chance! A restaurant had opened up in Halifax, advertising an ‘old-timey’ feel and serving absinthe, so last year while my son was at a nearby event, my partner & I dropped in so that I could give it a try.
What I was served wasn’t entirely what I had expected – I had expected the elaborate font from which water would drip onto a sugar cube above my absinthe (as pictured above). However, what I received was still quite lovely – a small, fancy glass of vibrant green absinthe, a small decanter of iced water, a sugar cube and a small silver, perforated spoon. I was directed to place the spoon over the glass of absinthe, place the sugar cube onto the perforated spoon, and slowly pour the iced water over the sugar cube to drain down into the absinthe. You could add less or more water, to taste. The icy sugar-water turned the vibrant green of the absinthe to more of a milky green – and it turned out that this was actually the traditional way to drink absinthe! (So, I didn’t feel gipped on my experience!)
Absinthe was quite close to what I expected it to be – it had a primary taste of licorice (due to, I would guess, the anise & fennel), with a hint of ‘herbal’ taste, behind the licorice. I was told that absinthe also contains wormwood – which has a bitter taste. Well, somehow, together, it all just – worked, as I enjoyed the slight contrast of the bitter wormwood to the licorice/herbal taste. And, it was quite potent! One glass left me feeling pleasantly warm & relaxed. However, as it was so potent and rich (& me being a bit of a lightweight!) I had but the one glass!
Over my glass of absinthe, my partner and I did not discuss philosophy, the arts or religion (more likely the logistics of our weekly schedule or the grocery list!) and, sadly, I did not devise any earth-shattering ideas for world betterment, nor did it magically make me a literary genius. However, in the end, the experience was highly enjoyable, (I did not cut off an ear, much to the relief of my partner!) and found that I’d certainly be willing to drink absinthe again, should I ever have the chance!