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The Green Hour

It was glorious!

I do believe we (Benn and I) managed to pull off a first in BC, perhaps Canada: an absinthe tasting featuring 6 different brands of absinthe, two of which are extremely hard to come by (practically impossible, but with several months advance planning doable). Read up on my experiences page for some details leading up to this event. This is the Tale of the Green Hour!


8:00PM - Hank, the first guest, arrived (well, actually before 8:00PM). Food starts appearing. I start serving drinks. Then Kelly arrived, followed shortly by Adam, and then about 10 or more guests arrive. Oh, and it should be noted here that Benn had eaten something like 30 chocolate-coated espresso beans by this point... I found out after the fact, but his hummingbird-like activity should have clued me in.

9:00PM - The Absinthe-Tasting-Proper begins. Much as I expected, the Suisse La Bleue was the favourite that night, only one person touched the Hill's, and didn't finish it, and the rest were enjoyed equally. By the end of the evening most people had had several servings of absinthe... and the mood was definitely interesting, to say the least. Leif, to the best of my knowledge, had six ounces of absinthe, starting and ending with the Suisse, and trying the other 4 (decent) brands in between, and some rather mysterious behaviour was evident at that point. I myself didn't have quite as much absinthe... even so, my mood was different than the usual when drinking, my mind kept wandering to the stars and the city lights outside... something about the chromatic variance and the atmosperhic turbulence got me thinking... or something like that...

Midnight - Someone stole some time on the WebTender computer, and came across some absinthe cocktails... I was reluctant to "waste" absinthe in this manner, but decided it could be interesting... for the record, Absinthe B-52s (shot glass, Bailey's, Amaretto, and Absinthe) start smooth - but then you get a serious shock when the Bailey's gives way to 140 proof absinthe! Personally, I don't recommend it. Absinthe & Gin do mix well on the other hand... and Absinthe martinis were quite a hit (either vodka or gin work, and yes, you include dry vermouth. I discovered that you can in fact make Sebor cloudy - in a martini shaker, pour Sebor over ice, then shake vigorously for a few seconds, or until you feel the shaker get very icy. Then pour into a chilled glass... when served at freezing point like this it clouds up almost as well as the other absinthe brands, but the second it warms up it goes clear again... oh yes, you are basically serving the Sebor straight (the only water comes from whatever ice melted in the shaker)... but at only 55% alcohol (before shaking) it works OK this way. Anyway, most of the absinthe was consumed as it was meant to be - with ice water and some sugar, served in a goblet, water poured over an absinthe spoon. The ritual in and of itself really impressed people...

The general atmosphere was getting really relaxed, everyone had this familiar expression on their face... no, not quite like in that painting "The Absinthe Drinker", but very relaxed, contemplative... Rowan started up a game, called for some reason "eat poop you cat", which went like this: everyone sits in a circle, and the first person writes a random phrase on a piece of paper. The second person draws a picture illustrating that phrase, then folds the paper so that only the picture is visible. The third person writes a phrase describing the picture, then folds so only that phrase is visible. The fourth person draws a picture... and so on. A fun game, with some really interesting results, given the mental state of those involved. The final piece of paper has since gone missing... I believe threats of scanning it and posting it on a website somewhere were uttered by someone...

2:00AM - Things slow down. I found that the only reason I was still behind the bar was because Rob and myself were still drinking... but we were the only ones... the absinthe martinis were starting to diffuse through my system, and I decided to start hydrating, anticipating something of a hangover the next day. Hint: Get your micronutrients - tomato juice works wonders! Your nerves will thank you! Some guests left, although there was still a sizeable group for some time. Our host had had too much... much to our (concerned) amuzement, he was sprawled out on the floor, not moving, except to occasionally mutter some obscenities and finger us (this was unusual behaviour for him). This ceased after 20 minutes or so when he passed out completely.

3:00AM - Those guests who didn't wake up there next morning left. In the end, We were pretty much all out by 4:00AM. I didn't sleep well, and eventually gave up trying when the sun rose.


Saturday, August 11th, 2001 - 8:15AM I actually got some real sleep. Benn stayed in his "coma". While I was asleep, I had some really bizarre and surreal dreams, much moreso than usual (I occasionally have lucid dreams... what I had that morning however were more disturbing). They were dark, taking place in a stark, barren landscape... I don't remember much... Overall, they left me a little disquieted after waking up. I'd heard that absinthe could have this effect on your dreams...

3:30PM - I woke up feeling quite refreshed, but also felt somewhat on guard... those dreams were unsettling. I rehydrated, showered, then went back to Benn's place. He was still sleeping... My sister and I helped him tidy up.

Pretty much every year, I have a "defining event of the year". Something huge, something that I use to measure the rest of the year by. In 2000 it was my road trip to the Yukon. For 2001, I must say it is The Green Hour! My Quest for Absinthe was fulfilled.

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