The Non-Dog Blog

Friday, December 21, 2007

Absinthe - a dubious tradition

Let's hear it for Alameda. Respecter of history and tradition, and who finds the nation noticing it at really odd times. We now have the questionable honor of having the only legal Absinthe distiller in the country: St George Spirits.

Absinthe has the highly checkered reputation of causing hallucinations, violence, and urges to slice off one's body parts (all apparently untrue). Detailed here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/dining/05absi.html
and
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/05/MNQJTO9FM.DTL

Today is the first day of sales and even though I don't (ok rarely) drink, I really have to try this, even though I know it's going to taste horrible, but I'm realizing the extent that I will go to to get a good story is a touch further that most folks I come across. Does this make me a writing slut or some equivalent? What's odd is that I'm not a journalist nor ever had much compunction to be one.

Back to Alameda assisting with the downfall of civilization...
NBC ran a story not too long ago showing lines of a couple hundred people:

http://www.nbc11.com/news/14907465/detail.html?rss=bay&psp=news

Diane went but decided to leave after seeing how slow the line was going.

We're going at 5:30pm and it will be interesting to see how long the line is. Will report back...

[later]

The line wasn't as long, but there was still a line.

It most certainly was fun and I didn't even have to pay for it since it was clear that they were going to run out of $75 bottles before they got to us so they were handing out free samples.

That has to be the most unique, complex alcoholic beverage I've ever tasted. first you get hit with the 120 proof (60%) alcohol, then a whole series of different tastes come over you in waves. The oils in it coat your tongue but it doesn't cover up all the various herbs that are in it. The most curious sensation was that I could feel it cascading down my throat all the way down to my stomach while at the same time I had this uprising feeling of my brain being slowly pickled. And I only had 3 sips, but that was plenty.

While the anise was strong (you could smell it out in the parking lot.) it did not over power all the other ingredients which I was not expecting.

A very unusual, fun, and unique experience. Glad I did it.

Postscript: It's the next morning and I slept the whole night comfortably. This is unusual for me after I've had alcohol. Usually I have a less than fun time while the alcohol works it's way out of my system. I've been noticing that distilled alcohol doesn't really have this effect unless I have too much of it (which is not much in my case). Terri's thinking that it may be the fermentation that my body's sensitive to and distilled spirits are not fermented.

So the conclusion is obvious. I can have small amounts of alcohol, but it has to be really expensive. :)

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