The United States recently approved the sale of absinthe, and many people around the country are just now getting their first experiences with the potent, anise-flavored spirit. Absinthe, famous for supposedly inspiring creativity in the likes of Hemingway, Picasso, and Gaugin, has been banned in the United States since the early 1900s, but a version of the drink was approved for sale earlier this year.
From my own limited personal experience in Prague, I can attest that the author of the Salon article is being very kind when she says absinthe is an “acquired taste.” I found that even after following the traditional sugar cube/slotted spoon ritual, it felt like downing a glass of very bitter rubbing alcohol. And no, I didn’t see any green fairies.
I didn’t meet anyone in Prague who drank absinthe on a regular basis (though I’m sure some do), and in general, it seems to be consumed for the sake of novelty (as in my case) more than anything else.
For more first-hand reports of experiences with absinthe, go here.
(Kids, take note: Drugs are inferior to hugs, and stay in school.)