Welcome to my (absinthe) nightmare

I was stuck for an appropriate Halloween post, until I glanced at my bookcase and saw the DVD of Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses. I’m not going to post on that movie, exactly, except to say that it’s an okay slasher flick, and features Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on The Office. His character bites it in the movie. I’ll also add that it’s a bit gory and over-the-top.

House of 1,000 Corpses reminded me of the time I tried absinthe, which in turn struck me as a Halloween-type drink. Do a Yahoo! image search for absinthe. You’ll find some wonky shit.

like this.

Absinthe is classified as a spirit, since it contains no sugar (at least not at the start, but more on that later). It’s anise-flavored; my mom always pronounces this “anus”, which cracks me up. But it does taste like anus. Or licorice. To me they’re the same flavors. Absinthe contains fennel and wormwood, and was noted for its psychoactive properties, which may or may not be true. For every account I’ve found that claims that yeah, it’ll take you on a trip, there’s another account that says nope, not any more than any other alcoholic beverage.

If you’ve ever seen the Johnny Depp movie From Hell, which was about Jack the Ripper, there’s a scene where Depp’s character drinks absinthe. Marilyn Manson is also a fan of the stuff.

Absinthe was popular in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among artists and writers. Then people started getting freaked out about the supposed psychoactive aspect, and yadda yadda yadda, it was banned in several countries, including the United States.

Times changed, and absinthe started making a comeback, although the formula was tweaked a little, which was how my little drinking buddies and I managed to find it on the shelf at Spec’s in Beaumont. Absente is made with southernwood instead of wormwood, but supposedly tastes the same.

it comes with a free absinthe spoon.

Ug. Just looking at that picture turns my stomach. The absinthe spoon is a slotted spoon that is placed over a glass that contains one shot of absinthe. A sugar cube is then placed on top of the spoon, and ice-cold water is slowly poured over the sugar cube. Usually it’s 3 to 5 parts water for one part absinthe.

Absinthe is also referred to as “the green fairy”, which is why so many advertisements for absinthe feature one.

So, that fateful night, a week or so before Halloween, we bought Absente, eager to try at least a facsimile of the infamous absinthe. The four of us mixed it according to the directions provided on the box, and then we settled in with two $5 Little Caesar’s pizzas and a copy of 1,000 Corpses.

We decided to taste it at the same time. We raised our glasses. I caught a whiff of licorice. I ignored it and drank of the fairy.

And nearly projectile vomited all over my husband.

“Holy shit! Oh my god!” I sputtered. “That is . . . oh my god! That sucks! It tastes like Satan’s diarrhea!”

Laughter ensued. No one else liked the taste either, but hey, we’d spent money on it, we had pizzas, we had a movie to watch, and the theory was that if we drank enough of it, we’d eventually be too drunk to care what it tasted like.

This was a stupid theory. I continued to care what it tasted like, and after finishing my first and only glass (I ate pizza and washed the pizza down with it, which turned out to be a mistake), I switched to Jack and Coke (another mistake).

Everyone else partook of the green fairy (yet another mistake). We watched Corpses and ate greasy pizza (mistake number four). I’ll say this about alcohol: it makes Corpses extremely funny.

It was during our second viewing of Corpses that I began to feel . . . extremely friggin’ bad. I’ll spare the gory details.

Suffice it to say I wasn’t the only one who paid homage to the puking scene in The Exorcist that night. Since the rental house we were in had only one bathroom, we had to take it outside, so to speak.

Everyone else blames the pizza, but not me. I blame absinthe.

And no, I didn’t go on any consciousness-awakening, Timothy Leary-type trips. The only trip I went on was outside, to vomit against the pine tree in the back yard.


8 thoughts on “Welcome to my (absinthe) nightmare

Add yours

    1. Blurgh. Ernest Hemingway used to mix it with champagne. He called it Death in the Afternoon, or something like that.

      I’d rather drink a shot of straight Bacardi 151 (which tastes like lighter fluid . . . don’t ask me how I know that) than even a teaspoonful of absinthe.

  1. I’ve drank it a few times. My friend across the street used to make his own absinthe and according to him you could buy the ingredients (also the psychoactive stuff) from the pharmacies, but you had to make sure to go to two different pharmacies to buy them, so that you didn’t raise suspicion.
    He gave me the recipe for it, but it’s long time gone…
    Anyway I remember drinking it, but I can’t remember having any psychedelic experience (from the absinthe that is).

    I’ve also tried the one from the Norwegian “Wine-monopoly” (in Norway there’s only one government run chain of stores that are allowed to sell alcohol if the alcohol is stronger than 5%, and that shop is called “Wine-Monopoly”), but it doesn’t have the psychoactive ingredient, so all that you’re left with is the horrible taste.

    I’ve heard that you can get the real stuff in the Czech Republic or something, but I don’t really care enough about horrible-tasting-spirits to set out on such a mission…

    1. I’ve heard about the Czech Republic stuff too. One of my friends claimed that a guy he worked with knew a guy from the Czech Republic and actually had some . . . I refused to try it, though. The whole “I know a guy who knows a guy” was a little too sketchy for me.

      And yes, I agree, the stuff is too horrible-tasting.

  2. I have to admit that I still want to try absinthe. There’s a brand out now that claims to be formulated the same way it was originally – before it became notorious and people started to add way too much wormwood. I’m hoping that my experience will be different because I actually LIKE black licorice. Have you ever noticed how black licorice seems to be a love it or hate thing, even when it comes to candy? I’m one of those folks that eagerly picks out the black jelly beans.

    1. If there’s a Spec’s Liquors near you, check them out . . . the one near me has a pretty good selection of (shudder) absinthe. And now since I know you like the black jelly beans, I will send you all of mine.

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