1.07.2008

Lincoln, Lincoln I've been thinkin' - What in the World have you been drinkin?

I have always been interested in Absinthe. The mystery, the history - the name of it just conjures up images of sitting in a cafe in Paris hobnobbing with the artists and writers of the Belle Epoque... The thing that has always stopped me is the fact that it was impossible to get here in the states. Recently, the rules have become more lenient and I figured I would order a bottle to share with my friends Tate and Moose, who has expressed an interest in it as well. So when the folks who run Buy Absinthe asked me to review their site, I said yes. As part of the review, I ordered a bottle of the green fairy and had it delivered to me. For free. Yup, I received remuneration for the text that is about to follow. So take that as you will.

Buy Absinthe consists of the website for ordering, plus a blog that extols the virtues of drinking the product. The website offers a limited selection of products from Spain and France, but does not stoop to offering some of the lesser products from Eastern Europe - which are basically grain alcohol with flavoring and coloring included. Absinthe is made by macerating herbs into grain alcohol which is then distilled. After the distillation, the product can be left clear or colored with either a second maceration of herbs or artificially colored. The best liquors use the all natural approach.

Buy Absinthe Alcohol does offer a FAQ on their product, which discusses how to serve the liquor, the possible side effects of drinking absinthe, as well of the legality of purchasing said beverage. The site is easy to navigate and gives a brief description of each item along with the cost and a button to add it to the shopping cart. The cost of shipping is the same or cheaper as many of their competitors.

After looking at all my options, I elected to purchase Bitter Abisinthe 72°, which seemed to be a fairly traditional product. However, several of their products were out of stock - all of the Lemercier brands plus some of the absinthe spoons, which I had planned to purchasing separately as part of the "ambiance". I ended up purchasing a bottle of Versinthe la Blanche - which has the same flavors as the green variety, but does not have the second infusion of herbs that give the drink it characteristic green color.

I ordered my bottle of "the white fairy" on December 12 - and received notification that it was waiting for me at the post office on December 29th. I did have to go and sign for it as a registered package. And no one came out and interrogated me about importing alcohol - honest! The bottle was well packed and survived it trip intact.

So that's it! The site has a limited number of products, but for a novice such as myself, it helped me narrow the field. The blog and the FAQ were useful for provided basic information on the product and the ordering process was painless. I had a very positive experience with Buy Absinthe and would use them again to purchase some of the Lamercier products should they become available.

8 comments:

Dave said...

Most excellent Rosie. I've been wanting to buy Absinthe ever since I heard of its resurgence several years ago. Can't wait to buy some (or steal some of yours). Maybe a bunch of us could buy some and have an Absinthe party.

ejm said...

You say that the bottle arrived intact and survived the trip. But you haven't mentioned anything about your trip after drinking absinthe! (I know. The website says it's not a drug....)

We just read the chapter on absinthe in "The Devil's Picnic" by Taras Grescoe - fascinating. Just curious, was "La Blanche" from Switzerland?

-Elizabeth

P.S. I suppose I would be tempted to taste absinthe but frankly, licorice alcohol has never been one of my favourites (although I love shrimps in pernod....)

Rosie said...

Elizabeth,

We did try it over the weekend - and to be frank, it was pretty damn strong tasting. Someone compared it to Jagermeister - some people will love the taste and others won't. I will tell you I was seriously buzzed though...

Dave said...

I'm intrigued. Just save me a shot. I love licorice flavor (my preference is Sambuca).

Rosie said...

Oh EMJ -

I read that book a while back - I am thinking maybe Absinthe would taste better if I had sneaked over the Swiss border for a swig. But alas - no - mine was just plain old French absinthe.

Dave -

Dude I will save you what is left of the whole bottle!

Dave said...

Most excellent.

Dag N'Abbott said...

I was under the impression that "true absinthe," also spent an amount of time in a tree stump (wormwood comes to mind...), yet no such mention is made. Am I misinformed?

Rosie said...

Wormwood is actually an herb - no tree stumps involved...