I heard from one of my dance instructors that absinthe is back in the stores. I thought it was illegal due to addictive and psychoactive properties. I remembered that it was the favorite drink of the French impressionists. I had read that Van Gogh's strange visuals were attributed to his intake of absinthe. An ingredient called wormwood was held responsible.
Tom said they saw it on the counter of a liquor store, and bought it out of curiosity. It was 101 proof, green and tasted nasty, like licorice. He managed to get three fingers of it down, all the same. Sounded to me like Ouzo or Raki, but they are diluted with water. I found when I checked the Wikipedia link above, that absinthe also is diluted and cloudy when drunk, and probably a lot more palatable.
Apparently, the drink itself holds no qualities not found in other 100-proof alcoholic beverages. It has been banned in the U.S., where a grande-wormwood-free product called "Absente" was sold. However, in 2007, the ban was lifted and several brands can be legally sold. They must be "thujone-free". Thujone was once thought to be a THC relative. Interestingly, lots of legal products, like bitters and sage oil, contail thujone and are perfectly legal.
Speaking of strange brews, I was listening to NPR a few days ago. They were interviewing Christiane Jory who wrote a book called The 99 ¢ Only Cookbook. At one point, she saw a woman buying a bottle of wine at the 99 ¢ store. She thought she had nothing to lose...and tried a bottle. And liked it. She said when she tried the Sauvignon Blanc, she knew she wine for the Summer...Sauvignon Blanc is my current wine fave...
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My sister and her kids were visiting this week. They stayed at the beach but drove in every day, so I got to see they a few days running. Amazing how fast the kids are growing up. They're 8 and 10 now, and incredibly funny.
Yesterday was my birthday. It was wonderful. I slept in, then went to the Mandarin Art Fair with Sandy. We bought a lot of little stuff--earrings, a macrame choker and anklet, wind chimes. It was great fun. Then I went to a dance lesson, home to goof off, and then out to dinner with Sandy and Kathy. We went to Marker 32. I had a couple of Hendrick's gibsons, a diver scallops appetizer and a great piece of grouper. Dessert was an ice cream and berry dish, and we split a a tres leches. Much too sweet for my taste.
Pretty much a perfect birthday. Thanks, buds.
[Image of Edgar Degas's L'Absinthe borrowed from Wikipedia. Gibson taken by me at Marker 32, with my ATT Tilt.)