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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
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
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