Absinthe comes to America: Welcome, old friend
I've touched on absinthe before, but I'm going to revisit it in honor of a friend who is currently planning the LA launch party of one of the two Absinthes imported sans trouble into the U.S. One is the French brand, Lucid (!), and the other, KÃ¼bler, debuted just weeks ago from Sweden. And neither are green! A party pumping KÃ¼bler absinthe into the probably-planning-on-driving-at-some-point crowd, well, it makes me shudder. Vehicle-free partiers in NYC are likely to party harder; indeed, The NYTimes indulged in a salubrious meditation on the fairy and its new brands yesterday:
One reason legal barriers have fallen is that, as The New Yorker reported in 2006, the regulated chemical thujone, found in wormwood and once thought to have been the cause of absinthe's lure and its dangers, did not show up in any significant quantities in analyses of historical absinthe. So these authentic replicas, despite containing wormwood, do not pose a legal challenge. And the alarmed pronouncements about absinthe made from the beginning of the Belle Ã‰poque have been proved groundless, which was decisive, a KÃ¼bler spokesman said, in swaying United States government regulators.
Has anyone tried these new brands? NYMag does a taste test of the two here. Even though absinthe is now legal here, and clear as any other high-proof ether, I feel like I'm going to be seeing pictures I don't want to see in Star soon--a gaggle of celebrities huddling in a booth somewhere, lighting up, bending down, and shooting the stuff. And hopefully quitting while they're ahead. But maybe I'm overreacting: maybe a bit of vintage 1863 good stuff is harmless compared to downloading gallons of brew. What do you think?