The world is filled with magical places. The world is also filled with magical things. Things that defy imagination, and places that are just plain cold and rainy, or at least you think they are but you can't quite remember because you were fifteen, in the Tchech Republic, and out of your gourd on something called Absinthe.
Roundabout way to get into that, I suppose, but work with me here and I'll take you into the twisted, scary, fun world of Trent Reznor's perfect drug. Yay!
Artemesia absinthium, or wormwood. Basically, just another plant with some fucked-up chemicals in it. Famous across history for inspiring artists such as Poe and whoever the fuck wrote Revelations in the Bible. Actually, it's all over the Bible, which really helps to explain why that book is as fucked-up as it is. Same things go for Poe, I guess, and a surprising amount of literature out of France in the mid-to late-nineteenth century.
The basic drink is wormwood mixed with vodka. When I drank it (not even knowing what it was), it felt very much like a psychedelic. One mixed with a shit ton of vodka with a nice hint of clove mixed in. Bitter as hell, though, even with all the sugar mixed in. Actually, here. I'll just give you the recipe that we used to make the stuff. I think we got the recipe from our tour guide.
Put the vodka and wormwood in a bottle and shake it up. Then let it sit for two days. Filter out the wormwood, add the rest of the spices, and let it sit for about a week. Filter the rest of the shit out and add the sugar. Some people do the whole sugar-cube-filter thing, but while it looks a lot cooler, it's not going to taste nearly as good. Drink up. Don't have anything planned for a few hours, and don't go on a binge. You'll end up bribing customs officials with bottles of whiskey and trying to explain to them why Jose Miguel should be let back into...well, whatever country we were traveling to. Frankly, I don't remember.
- a litre of Grey Goose vodka
- two spoonfuls of dried wormwood
- five clove seeds
- a spoonful of marjoram (to help the medicine go down)
- a pinch of coriander
- two cups of sugar syrup
Real Absinthe is going to have a pretty rocking green color (like green tea). As I said before, it's going to have a very bitter taste. It's predominantly an alcoholic drink, but the wormwood gives it that little extra oomph. "Oomph" may be a bit of an understatement, actually. It's more a sort of thunder clap.
Getting the wormwood is going to be a bit tricky, because let's face facts -- your dealer isn't going to just have it. Your best bet is to order some online and pray that it's not the FBI or some scam company sending you oregano. Careful not to actually consume any of the leaves, as it's somewhat deadly in high concentrations. And that, my friends, is the proverbial that.
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