Sunday, December 16, 2007

Forget Santa Clause, I Want the Green Fairy

Editor Paula Guran on the Juno Books blog did a post about absinthe. It is quite fashionable right now. Damn, but I hate to be a trend hopper. My husband collects interesting liquors the way some men collect baseball cards, and he's been wanting a bottle of the EU-legal stuff for a couple of years. As the exchange rate has only gotten worse over time, I decided it was now or never and ordered him up a bottle for Christmas.

I've been curious about absinthe for a while. How could anyone who loves art nouveau not be? Add that to my general impressionability (I am the girl who started smoking in college because of all those classic Hollywood movies--don't worry, I quit.), and it's a wonder I didn't belly up to the absinthe website and order a bottle sooner.

Then there's the allure of the ritual. I must admit, I am a sucker or food and beverage rituals. Currently, I have tea service in both the English and Japanese styles, Turkish coffee (I start by roasting the beans), South American coco, and, of course, more bar paraphernalia than you can shake a swizel stick at (oh, I just love those itty umbrellas). And I'm really wanting a samovar so I can make myself a good cup of Persian tea (I blame the local Persian eatery, and Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries for that one.) Also, I'd really like some of those little things to make Vietnamese coffee.

I have a feeling I probably won't like the absinthe. I've never been a big fan of anise, and that's a major flavor in la fee verte. But I'll probably like the ritual of it. In the case of my tea/coffee/coco habits, the ritual is as soothing as the resulting beverage. Our society does everything so quickly--fast food, fast coffee, and lots of both as we travel so we can keep going, going, going--it's nice to slow down and take the time to go through a series of steps before savoring the fruits of your patience (this is especially true with the drip, drip, drip of Vietnamese coffee--you have to be patient, or you'll go crazy). And when you have guests, the ritual gives you time to talk while you're preparing, and a good excuse to linger over your coffee, tea or cocktail once it's finished. When you have to wait for something, you generally don't want to just gulp it down.

Anyway, point is...what was the point? Oh, yeah, slow ritual = good. I'll let you know what I think of the absinthe after we open the bottles at Christmas. :o)